Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Leucistic Red-tailed

This striking partially leucistic Red-tailed Hawk, soaring with a Turkey Vulture, was photographed by Evan Spears in Buckingham County on October 24, 2011.

Brian Taber

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gulf Fritillary

Gorgeous, and rare in VA, this Gulf Fritillary was at the butterfly garden at Eastern Shore of VA National Wildlife Refuge yesterday.

Brian Taber

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trying to Look Like a Stick

This Yellow-billed Cuckoo stayed completely frozen, trying to be unseen, for 10 minutes, just off the trail at Kiptopeke on Oct 9th.

Brian Taber

Sunday, October 2, 2011

ANOTHER Unusual Gull

This bird has been at Craney Island, Portsmouth, since spring...studied by a bird survey team in this closed area...not evident in these portraits, is the fact that it is smaller than a Herring Gull...it is whitish, which might suggest Kumlien's Iceland Gull, though it has a very large head and bill, which does not fit that gull...notice that the wingtips and tail in the lowest image from June 23, 2011 are very ragged...and the bird is filthy, from bill to feet, from foraging in dark dredge spoil, but the wings are coming in with some new, rather buffy feathers in the next image up, August 20, 2011 and the bill and feet are cleaned up...and the top two images are from today, October 13, 2011...finally got a flight image, though not crisp, it does show the upperwing pattern....possibly a hybrid Kumlien's and Herring?

Brian Taber

Unusual Gull

In September 2010, a red-billed, red-legged gull was reported from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel, thought to be an aberrant Laughing Gull and on September 4, 2011, a similar gull, though orange-billed, was seen at the boat ramp at Eastern Shore of VA National Wildlife Refuge...then...the same bird or another, was at the bridge-tunnel on September 23, 2011...then...the same or another was reported in late September from fields on the lower Eastern Shore. The top picture here is from the bridge-tunnel this year and the bottom picture is from the Refuge....notice the wingtip difference...and the mantle color can look quite different depending on the light...the bird, or birds, appeared to have a mantle color similar to nearby Laughing Gulls.

Brian Taber