Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A "new" bird for the mountain

After living in my cabin on Roundtop for as many years as I have, the pace of discovering new species of birds has long since slowed. So over the years I have found new ways to document "old" birds. A common bird seen in a new month, for example, is worthy of note.

Today’s bird, a double-crested cormorant, falls into my "new" category. Actually, it falls into my "new" category twice over. The photo itself is rather poor, but it clearly shows the bird sitting on Roundtop’s newest and largest pond.

So what’s new? Well, this is the first time I’ve seen cormorant sitting on a Roundtop pond. It’s only been in the last two years that I’ve even found cormorants flying over the mountain. I have always added flyover birds to my personal list of "birds seen on Roundtop." That’s how I’ve gotten common loons on my Roundtop list, as well as several other species. But this marks the first time I’ve seen one stop.

The second "new" category for this bird isn’t quite as exciting. It simply marks the first time I’ve seen the species in August. My other sightings were always in April and September. This bird is a bit of an oddity in another respect, too. My other sightings were all of the birds in a small flock. This one was apparently traveling on by itself. This bird might be a younger bird. In an even blurrier enlargement of this photo the bird seems pale on the throat, though I couldn't see its belly to be certain. Even if not, the pretty crests the bird shows in its breeding plumage are clearly gone. Fall is on its way.


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Congratulations on your cormorant! That seems like a pretty neat addition to your list.

Isn't it amazing how, given a bit of time, a watchful eye, and perhaps a bit of luck, some truly amazing creatures and plants can be "discovered" in your own back yard? Extirpated species reappear—though you wonder if they every all really left in the first place, or simply disappeared because we didn't expect to see them. And then there's the stuff that ought not to be there, but is anyway—either because it doesn't know it shouldn't be there…or we don't know it should.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Oh my, you are a SERIOUS lister!

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: I'm only a serious lister on alternate Tuesdays.


Carolyn H said...

Griz: Finding things that ought not be there or things no one else knew were there is one of the fun things about paying attention to what's going on around me.

With plants, something I think they really aren't there, but the seeds are sitting in the ground waiting for the right moment to sprout and appear.

And with birds, well, birds have wings and sometimes they use them. (plus, they never look at range maps before using them).


Cathy said...

Lucky you, maybe it will hang around for a few days. Then you could get another picture.

Two weeks to go and it will be Sept 1st :)