Sunday, April 29, 2012

Warbler Wary

As I get ready for a weekend of birding and to be more honest, a weekend of warbler-ing, I am excited about facing such a big challenge of identifying such a diverse group of birds.  I'm currently reading Kaufman's Advanced Guide to Birding (Link: and it stresses the need for developing good field notes.  When I went through Education training, I did a lot of work on observing and what do observation.  Yet in the field, I am drawn between the dynamic of do I stay  and take detailed notes and sketches, or do I move on to try and find more birds.  I think once migration season is over, I'll take some time to do some detailed notes of some well-known birds.

That might make for some great posts.  I'll put on my detailed notes and drawings and I'd love feedback on how my powers of observation could use improving and what can I do.  Until then, go birding!

Outing #29
Black-and-White Warbler LB
Glossy Ibis LB
House Wren LB

2012 Total: 133 (67 left to goal)

Lift List Total: 161 (39 left to goal)

Two images of a Glossy Ibis and a Purple Sandpiper:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Back to Birding in Connecticut

So I am back to birding in Connecticut!  I made a couple of trips to some great and very different sites.  One was a old second and third Growth Forest and the other was my favorite beach/state park.  The old growth forest was amazing.  Within 5 minutes of getting out of my car, I saw tree swallows and one of my favorite birds, the Pileated Woodpecker.  While I won't say that the Pileated is my all time favorite bird, it is certainly up there.  It is a wonderful majestic bird that was flying from tree to tree that I got to see and enjoy.  At these woods, I also saw some Blue-Grey Gnatcatchers and caught a glimpse of a Louisiana Waterthrush.  I did see a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker too that was getting ready for the breeding season.  I heard many more warblers than I saw.  Its great to hear them, but I wanted to see them as well.  I definitely will be going back to these woods.

My favorite beach park also yielded some great birds.  While I only added one bird to my year list there, I did see several Great birds.  The New Year bird was a Purple Martin, but I found savannah Sparrows there as well.  I also caught a good look at a Palm Warbler.  Lots of Killdeer, Osprey, Tree Swallows, Flickers, Cardinals, Gulls, Brant and even Great Egrets made for a great day outside!  Happy birding!

Outing #28:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher LB
Louisiana Waterthrush LB
Pileated Woodpecker

Purple Martin

2012 Total: 130 (70 to go!)

Life List Update: 158 (42 to go!)

The photo below is a great sign that spring is on its way!  FIDDLEHEADS!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Last Southern Outing and a Warbler Frenzy

A quick note that has been delayed!  Just the notes of the outing!

Outing #27:
Acadian Flycatcher
Northern Rough-winged Swallow LB
Northern Waterthrush LB
Hooded Warbler LB
American Redstart LB
Blackpoll Warbler LB

2012 Total:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Part One of the Southern Trip

So I am done with part 1 on my Southern trip, I've only added 2 Life Bird, but I have managed to add 4 birds (including the 2 LBs) to my 2012 year list.  The Trip puts me at 120 which means that I am 80 birds short of my goal of 200 life birds.  Lots of Shorebirds are waiting for me at home and Warbler migration means that there will be plenty of birds to chase.  I am just not getting up and out early enough to get the birds.  Such is life on vacation.

Tomorrow I am hoping to hit some more parks with some gusto so I can nab some great birds!  But we shall see!  I may sleep in again.

Outing #26
Chimney Swift LB
Prothonotary Warbler LB
Red-Eyed Vireo
Barn Swallow

2012 Total: 120 (80 to go!)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Arctic Rarity at the Beach

A few weeks ago I commented on some Snow Buntings hanging out in warm beach weather.  Going into Friday, I heard about an Arctic bird, in male breeding plumage hanging out at a local state park near the beach.  One must always keep their eyes open and ready when dealing with birds.  After I got the Lapland, I had a lovely walk around the park.  I saw Chickadees, Killdeer and a flock of over 8 extremely active and loud Greater Yellowlegs!  I had never seen Greater Yellow legs act like that.  Birds are truly amazing!

A Great Video to check out:

Outing #25
Lapland Longspur LB

2012 Total: 116 (84 left to go!)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Birding!

I went to visit several new parks. One of these parks used to be Public Water land and were converted into trails and public space.  I am always a fan of  private land being converted into public spaces.  Parks always improve the quality of the lives of the people who live near them and visit them.  Usage, of course, is key to the success and liveliness of any park.  Not all parks are for people of course, wildlife refuges are great uses of any space and can improve the health of the environment and impact the people who live there.  This park is definitely a place I want to go back and visit again.  I got a Hermit Thrush which was a new Life Bird for me. Woodpeckers were also all over the place and Woodpeckers are some of my favorite birds.  I also got a Pine Warbler at the site.

I also visited the Jamaica Bay NWR this weekend.  A great place to visit!  Barn Owls were nesting on site so they were a great pick up for my year and life list.  The other great pick up at the sight were tons of great shore birds.  Cormorants, Ruddy Ducks, Oystercatchers, Shovelers and Egrets were all over the place.  For a day off, there were also

The Last day of the Birding Extravaganza Weekend was a real doozy.  3 Parks, and many many birds.  I saw some of my favorites and some new ones.  The Larson Sanctuary was full of birds.  I saw my first Brown Creeper for the year and Northern Gannets which I hadn't seen since Whale Watching last year.  Big and powerful birds.  I  got 2 life birds yesterday.  But the Big news for me yesterday were all the Hermit Thrushes I saw.  5 individuals in total!  My kingdom for a telephoto lens!  A great weekend for birding and I can't wait to get out there again and see more birds

Outing #24:
Part 1
Hermit Thrush LB
Pine Warbler
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
Part 2
Barn Owl LB
Brown-Headed Cowbird
Great Egret
Palm Warbler
Part 3
Brown Creeper
Horned Grebe LB
Northern Gannet
Winter Wren LB

2012 Total: 115!