Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Washington D.C. Birds

Back from our trip to Washington D.C. where we had a great time, even in the cold temperatures and the first measurable snow they have had in over 2 years. We got to as many sights as possible in 5 days. Our hotel was a few blocks from the Capitol building and we walked all over the place.

Capitol Lion

I had to restrain myself from actually 'birding' and enjoy the family and the sites. I haven't been back here since the Bicentennial year. We wanted to get the boys here before they got too old and off to college or elsewhere. But not having my binoculars for nearly a week was causing an itch in my brain a lot. Birding was on the back burner. But, it is something I do. Even while driving, sitting at work, walking into a store, anytime I can see or be outside. So, I did get some birds among the 1,600 photos I took.

One bird you can't miss is the American Robin. Whether they live here or are just returning, they were scattered all over the Mall, either on the grasses or laughing from the trees.

American Robin

I was really interested that there were several birds that were banded! I think I saw 5 or 6 birds with multiple color bands.

American Robin

The other birds you can't miss are House Sparrows (I even saw a few of those banded) as they chase one another through the hedges and leafless trees.

House Sparrow

As we walked from the Jefferson Memorial across the inlet to the Tidal Basin I noticed a bird down below. We have Horned Grebes in Florida in the Winter but it is nice to add them to this list.

Horned Grebe

From the bridge, I could see another grebe off in the distance but is was close to the path heading to the other memorials. I hurried down and got a close view. Wow. A Horned Grebe transitioning into the next molt! We don't get that in Florida.

Horned Grebe

A small flock of Canada Geese flew over us but I barely got them in the frame. Later, we saw a couple from the tour bus.

Canada Goose

We wandered through the FDR memorial next. It was much bigger than I thought it was. Most of the way through, there was a nice clump of trees toward the water and birds started calling all over. I wandered over, being tempted by an Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe

Pulling me closer to the trees was a Song Sparrow that landed off to my right. Another nice find.

Song Sparrow

A bird began calling from the branches and I got even closer. A small figure was fluttering and gleaning insects. I was very surprised to see a Golden-crowned Kinglet in front of me! We hardly ever get them in Central Florida.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

It was difficult to get a shot through the holly leaves but exhilarating.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Heading toward the Korean Memorial we noticed a shadow speed past us. It quickly emerged from the tree, swooped over the grass and landed in a tree up ahead. This Cooper's Hawk made an easy target as it sat a few yards off of the crowded sidewalk.

Cooper's Hawk

We made our way toward the Lincoln Memorial and I noticed a bunch of small birds hopping around on the grass. Dozens of them were advancing across the area and I finally got myself into a good poition to figure out what they were. They turned out to be Slate-colored Juncos.

Slate-colored Junco

I had the Oregon sub-species out West so this was a nice add to my Life List.

Slate-colored Junco

Finally, another species that is all over the area is the Common Grackle. You can easily dismiss these guys as they fly in on any easy opportunity to scoop up food like this popcorn at the National Zoo. However, they are hard to ignore when they catch the sunlight just right.

Common Grackle

Not a bad set of photos during a 'non-birding' trip! I am over my binocular withdrawal. Now I have to sort through the rest of the photos for posterity.

4 comments:

Lane Epps said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Andrew Boyle said...

Possibly. I still have to go through all of mine, Patrick's, and Carolyn's. Took me this long to find the few birds!

PK said...

Love this!

Johannie Mercado said...

Nice!