Friday, April 26, 2013

If Its Thursday I Must Be Birding #15

Nothing gets the adrenaline squirting out of my ears more than news of a potential life bird. Donna Lynn Schulman {aka Dunlin } first alerted me to the discovery of this bird after she read the news about what was initially thought to be another dreaded hybrid Hummingbird, was actually a bird that required thinking outside of the box. It was a Bahama Woodstar!

Dunlin is fond of alerting me about such birds, sometimes doing so in the presence of complete strangers after alerting them of my peculiar affliction. They can be heard to say such things as “Gosh, it really does squirt out his ears!” or “Do it again, Do it again!” and finally, “Eeooouuuuh, it got on me”

Bahama Woodstar is a small hummer, that the careless observation could mistake for a Ruby-throated which is the same size, roughly the same coloration pattern, and much more expected in our region. Even in the hand the ID escaped those who banded it and ultimately ID’d it.

So with the exciting news and a conveniently placed Thursday I sought out a posse and chased this bird with Eric Miller {aka Earic}. We left early and got to the home in Denver PA before 10 am. A large white wood-cut of a Hummingbird alerted us we were in the right place.

Unfortunately, this is the best look I got...
The man of the house, a Mennonite,  had roped off an area for viewing as well as procured a port-a-potty for the crowd! The woman of the house { a Womennite?} greeted us with a warm smile, photos of the bird, a sign in register, and pretzels! Wow, what hospitality!!

Of the assembled crowd, and there were a lot on station. None was possessed of a smile - never a good sign. We all traded war stories while hoping the bird would show up again. Several Purple Finches and Carolina Chickadees partook of the feeders amongst the other birds, and Broad-winged Hawks FOY flew overhead.

A nice feeder that would have been a LOT nice with a Woodstar...
By the time 1:30pm rolled around, we had concluded that the bird had departed for good. Some postulated that it was the result of being trapped and banded, while others came up with other reasons. But we all missed the bird, whatever the reason. There was talk that it had bee seen elsewhere as well, but at the home of persons who did not want visitors. Maybe the bird is still around and exploring other options. When we stopped for lunch I checked to see if by some miracle it might have shown up after our departure, but no...

So we dipped on this bird. It would have been quite a coup though, as the last reports had been in 1981 or there about, and all from Florida for this bird limited to the Bahamas.

All was not lost though, as Earic and I stopped at Oakland Lake where we saw Black-and-white Warbler, Northern Parula, and Chimney Swift. These birds brought me to YB 196.

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