Friday, June 5, 2009

Day one: Nighthawk booming

I've been hearing Common Nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) in my neighborhood, but this evening I saw my first flying Common Nighthawk of the year.  It was flying and diving over Kirtland's Warbler habitat near Mio. 
This bird flew directly overhead several times, but this is the best photo I could get.  It was windy and he was fast.  On the right wing, you can see the white bar.  After many minutes of flying and diving, the bird perched.
Last month I saw my first ever perched nighthawk at Crane Creek, so I was surprised when this guy fluttered down and gently landed on this branch in the typical nighthawk horizontal pose.
With some sun on the back of the bird, the nighthawk moved from its horizonal pose to a more typical passerine pose.  

It was windy this evening and I did not see a perched Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii).  I only heard one, down low, on Hardy Grade Rd.  Actually, it was not very birdy, but I did see and hear my first Brown Trasher (Toxostoma rufum) of the season.  All of the other birds were those I have already seen elsewhere this year.

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