Friday, 30 November 2012

The Lost Birds

I have had to happily update my list.  I had left out a couple of birds.  Between all the travel and working full time it is bound to happen.  I was going through some pictures with Sue yesterday and she asked when I had seen the Common Myna.  I had seen Hill Mynas,(Non ABA), in Miami, but forgot the Common Myna I had seen further south, on my way to find the Fork-tailed Flycatcher.  It was dumpster diving in a McDonald's Parking lot.  Glad Sue caught the oversight.  Fact was, I was only in that parking lot for the free wireless internet.  Thank you, Ronald!

I also saw and chased, for the second time, a Lapland Longspur on Gull Island at Presqu'ile Provincial Park.  I had also forgotten to add that back when I saw it for the first time in early November. 

And finally, from the uncountable bird list, an Egyptian Goose and Mitred Parakeet I had photographed but forgotten about in Miami.

What does that do to my number?  572, baby!  Plus 4 Non ABA birds, including Common Peafowl, my total Life List, including non ABA birds is now 578, still a long way from Sue's 646, as she is happy to point out.

I doubt I will add one more bird here in Ontario before I head to Nashville on Sunday evening, though it would be nice to hit 573 here in Ontario.  There won't be any birding in Nashville as it is a work trip, but I am heading directly to San Antonio on December 6 for some Texas birding.  After that I shall play it by ear.  Probably go to New Brunswick, Northern Ontario and perhaps one more trip south if any good rarities, such as LaSagra's Flycatcher show up in Florida before the end of 2012.   

Just as this blog was going to press, or air or whatever it does when you hit "publish" word of a Nutting's Flycatcher in Arizona, possibly the same one from last year, has come out from NARBA.  I believe a side trip from Texas might be in order, if it is confirmed and stays a while, as it did last year.  I want that bird!

Common Myna in Molt

Non ABA Egyptian Goose

Non ABA Mitred Parakeet

Muscovy Duck - Some said to be countable in south Florida, where I saw this one.  My first sighting in Texas below Falcon Dam was my official sighting, but I failed to get a photo.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Pelagic Pictures

I had forgotten about the pelagic photos I had taken back in Delaware.  I am still not comfortable taking photos on boats, especially when I am sea sick, but here is a selection of the best from the Paulagics trip. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Ducks and Geese Abound

It must be the winter birding season because I am seeing more ducks and geese now than I have since last February.  And it's a good thing.  The Pink-footed Goose in Pennsylvania, Snow Geese everywhere I go, a Greater-white Fronted Goose in Connecticut and Black Scoters all around too.  And then, on my drive back from Philadelphia, after an all night flight from Tucson, I hear of a Barnacle Goose in a pond outside Hartford.  It was only a 4 hour drive and was mostly on my way home anyway.

I arrived at Broad Mill Brook Pond with hopes that it would be an easy bird to spot.  I wish I had saved my needle in a haystack reference for this bird.  I hear the goose honking before I even see the nearly 1000 Canada Geese in the pond.  It was such a spectacle that everyone from the neighborhood, birders or not, was coming to take photos.   The pond extended about 200 yards back and unless the goose was close, it wasn't going to be that easy at all.

Very quickly I found a Greater-white Fronted Goose.  Shortly thereafter, a Snow Goose.  Birds I had already seen this year were easy.  The Barnacle Goose was not.  I spent most of the next two hours scanning every single goose in that pond for a white face.  I kept seeing the Greater-white Fronted and Snow Goose.  Was that a Black Scoter?  Common Merganser?  Cackling goose? Yup.  I saw them all, over and over.  It was getting late.  The sun was sinking below the horizon and perhaps on my chance to find the Barnacle Goose.

Then, as though it has been there all along,  the setting sun shone bright on a white face, as it emerged from the cacophony of Canada Geese.  I got to watch it swimming amongst the throng, loosing it and then finding it again.  I tried to take photos, but it was too far away and moving to much to digiscope.  I noticed another birder setting up a scope down the way, and motioned him over, saying I had the goose.  He was thrilled as he had come on three previous days and not found it.  I was able to point out the correct location to look and he quickly found it too.  His name was Jamie and he does Connecticut county lists, and birds every day, somewhere in the state.  It was fun, after getting the Longspur and Trogon on my own the other day, to have someone to share the bird sighting with.  No high-fives though.  He didn't seem the high-five type.

I spent the night in Albany and then drove home yesterday, but with one stop in Presqui'ile Provincial Park, since Fred Helieiner had reported a Barrow's Goldeneye down by the lighthouse the previous morning.  This seems to be a returning, wintering bird, and since it was on my way, I went straight there.  My timing was perfect as Fred was down by the lighthouse and scoped it for me very quickly.  The lake was very choppy and the birds kept going under.  There were lots of Buffleheads and Common Goldeneyes, which I hadn't seen in 6 months, and one male Barrow's Goldeneye, which, when it was above water, was easily picked out through the scope.  Since I am planning on returning to Presqu'ile sometime later, hopefully the water will be calm enough and the bird close enough that I can get a good picture.

I did get 19 birds on that trip and now sit at a nice round 570.  It's Saturday.  I slept in until 9am.  It's sunny, nice out, but I am enjoying a quiet morning at home for a change.  Been months since I did that.  But I am sure, before long, I will be restless and want to get out and continue the chase.  I still have one more trip to Texas and will be going to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and Northern Ontario before it's all said and done.  Is 600 possible?  Time and birds will tell.

Pond O' a Thousand Geese:

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Turkey Day

Smart Turkeys know where to go to avoid being served for dinner.
(A new big Year Blog will be up shortly,)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Oh, It's a Jolly Birding Day with Melody

No Wonder that it's Melody's birds we love!

And birds we did see.  Melody Kehl got me out the door at 5am this morning, meaning I had to be awake at 4am, which meant I got less than 4 hours sleep last night.  But it was worth it for the birds we saw.   We saw only 39 species in total, but I added 16 new Arizona species to my state list, giving me 127 seen here this year.  I even saw another Snow Goose.  But that was only the icing on the cake.

It was the new birds we saw today that made the day grand.  We had a long drive out to Gila Bend, where we were on the hunt for two birds of note, a Sage Sparrow and a Le Conte's Thrasher.  But before we even got to the designated area, Melody slammed on the breaks and made a sharp u-turn that would have made any stunt driver proud,(our lunch and beverages were scattered across the back seat-but survived).  We had stopped for a Ferruginous Hawk.  It was sitting atop a pole, as I got my first look, then flew across the street and alighted on another pole in much better light.  I got a few more photos before it flew off into the morning sky.

From there we drove to the Thrasher location and walked into a habitat that seemed more suited for the Roadrunner and Coyote, than to look for the birds,(then again, that's what the Coyote was up to, so I stand corrected).  First up, was the Sage Sparrow and it didn't take long to show.  I got a decent first look and then we found more and I was able to get some nice photos of a sparrow that turned out to be a LGJ: Little Grey Job.  Nice bird, easy identification as far as sparrows go.

Next it was on to the Le Conte's Thrasher.  This location at the corner of Baseline Road and Salome Highway is known for Le Conte's and it wasn't long before Melody heard one and we were chasing it into the scrub.  It alighted on a bushy tree and we both got great looks at it through Melody's scope.  Before we could get close enough for a photo op, it was gone, not to be seen again the rest of morning. We spent about another half hour trying to find it again for a photo, but considered ourselves lucky to have seen it at all.  Time to move on.

We had an hour drive ahead of us and the lack of sleep was catching up to me, so I covered my head with my hat and slept like a sack of potatoes the entire drive to the small town of Eloy, which is not in the middle of nowhere, it's well past nowhere.  It's pure desert emptiness and a popular spot for illegal aliens to camp after they sneak into America.  Funny how the Border Patrol Officers never patrol way out this way.  If they want to find the illegals, all they have to do is ask the birders.

Here we were looking for Bendire's Thrasher.  We had barely begun our hunt when something flew overhead.  Melody saw the shadow pass and I already had my binoculars on the bird when she shouted, "Prairie Falcon!"  Bonus.  I got a good look then quickly grabbed my camera and got some photos before it sailed off into the sun and parts unknown.

Back to the pesky Bendire's Thrasher.  We were hearing it singing in the trees and stealthily crept our way around to find it, when a Thrasher appeared in a tree and the singing stopped.  We got eyes on the bird and it was a Curve-billed Thrasher.  But it wasn't singing and we were both convinced it was not the bird we had heard, though they are good mimics.  However, shortly after we got to see the Curve-billed, we heard the Bendire's song again.  It was clearly a Bendire's and not a Curve-billed song, said Melody,and played both for us to compare.

Now we saw two birds head into a tree and knew something was up.  As we were looking, we saw an Ash-throated Flycatcher and Yellow-rumped Warbler, but no Bendire's.  We got even closer to the tree where we had heard it and then, from under the tree and into another thicket, ran the Bendire's Thrasher.  Shorter beak than the Curve-billed, and running with an upright gate, similar to a Roadrunner.  Melody saw it in the scrub, but only from behind.  We had our bird, and it sure did take coordination and team work.  How many birders does it take to get a Bendire's Thrasher?  Two.  One for the head, and one for the tail.  And both to hear it's call.

Speaking of Roadrunners, I did get my first Arizona American Roadrunner sighting today.  I also saw Yellow-headed Blackbirds up close and personal and even better, added two Rodent-y things to my Rodent-y things list: Black-tailed Jackrabbit and as seen below, Round-tailed Ground Squirrel.  That gives me 18 Rodent-y things for the year.  Of course, the Rodent-y list has a long way to catch up to my Big Year Bird List, of 560, with the addition of 5 new birds today.  We missed out on two, the Crissal Thrasher and Mountain Plover, though I may have a shot at the Crissal with Matt Brown tomorrow.

Tonight I can rest, get a good dinner, get to bed early and sleep in until 5am.  Woo hoo!

By the way, anyone get the Mary Poppins reference?

Ferruginous Hawk 

Sage Sparrow

 Prairie Falcon

Curve-billed Thrasher (at least I got one thrasher photograph)

Round-tailed Ground Squirrel

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Goosed into Action

What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday I awoke at 4am and spent 12 hours on a boat being sick and being sick of being sick, and sick of boats that made me sick.

Just before tucking myself into bed at the Anchorage Motel, and after a wonderful hot bath, I was talking to Sue, who had a much better day than me.   She was telling me about her day at Amherst Island, where she got to see a Long-eared Owl, Barred Owl and just to make me jealous, as I haven't seen one yet this year, a Rough-legged Hawk.  I was planning on sleeping in a bit, going to the beach to look for Purple Sandpipers, then take the Ferry back to New Jersey and head up to Philadelphia by way of Brigantine, when my e-mail dinged with a notice from NARBA.


Not only was it only about 3 hours drive from Lewes, it was less than an hour from the Philadelphia airport.  I GPS'd it, set my alarm and fell asleep with images if pink-webbed feet, dancing in my head.

This is what A Big Year is all about.  The Chase.

It was the prospect, and dare I say, expectation, of seeing a Pink-footed Goose, ahead of all other birds, that has kept me chasing for nearly 11 months now.   Seeing this bird was one if the reasons I had to do a Big Year.   And I was in nearly the right place at exactly the right time to chase this little pink footed wonder, who had wandered off course from Greenland, and plopped himself into Peace Valley Park, Pennsylvania.

When I arrived at the park I started scoping each and every one of the hundreds of Canada Geese floating peacefully in the lake, when I caught sight of a couple of other birders on the other side, scoping birds too far away for me to see.  If you can't find the bird, find the birders.  This kind of hunt requires team work, and as it turned out, it was a well coordinated team.  I drove over to where the other birders were and we were joined by more goose hunters who were in both phone and e-mail communication with still more birders who were spread about the park.  As we planned to head east to another set of geese, to scope, having found nothing pink footed on this end if the park, yet another hunter of pink feet had just heard from someone who had seen it just 20 minutes earlier at the north east corner of the park.   And as we were trying to figure out where the north east corner of the park was,(two of us had compasses out), another birder with a scope, Shannon Thompson, who had driven from New Jersey early this morning for the goose, had just heard from a friend that he was, at that moment, looking at the goose near the Nature Center.   The chase was on and we formed a 4 car convoy over to the reported location.

Whew, I'm out if breath, after that run-on paragraph.

We parked our cars, grabbed our scopes, binoculars and cameras and raced down the road, along the path to a spot where a scope was already set up and after 4 hours of driving, looking and more driving and hiking, the hunt was over in 30 seconds.  I didn't have to do anything other than look into the scope of the already present birder to get the bird.  Too easy.  But I deserved it after yesterday's ordeal.   It just occurs to me that Sandy Komito got his Pink-footed Goose in nearly the exact same way, in Pennsylvania, back in 1998,(the book is my bible, what can I say).  There was also a lot of talk of "The Big Year" movie and the Pink-footed Goose Jack Black chased.

We stayed nearly an hour as birders came and went.   Took lots of scope looks and lots of photos. Shannon even let me get an iPhone photo through her scope, as I had forgot my digi-scoping adaptor at home.  She's pretty good at it, a kind of digi-scoping savant.   I got lots of photos with my SLR and then headed back to Sailor's Point where I had seen a pair of Snow Geese I wanted to photograph. Along the way I ran into more birders who were looking for the Pinky, and guided them to the right spot.  I believe it was a lifer for everyone I encountered today.

It was for me, not just a lifer, but year bird number 555.

The Snow Geese were very cooperative and I got some nice photos.  Back in Louisiana they were very far away, and I could only see them through another birders scope and didn't get any good photos. They have pink feet too.

I am, once again, typing from 30,000 feet, and oh so tired.  On the drive to the airport, though I was still high with the excitement of a Code 4 bird, there came a point where I hit the proverbial wall.   I just wanted to pull over and close my eyes for an hour or three.   But I was on a highway with a flight to catch and had to keep going.  Now that I am on a plane, flying 4 hours to Phoenix, as I head to Tucson, I doubt I will be able to sleep.  I need some rest, as I am up at 4 am birding tomorrow morning.  But I am not complaining.   I have no right to complain.  If I did, I am sure Sue would sentence me to a year of litter box cleaning and we have six cats.  As it is, I owe her a year of chores to make up for all the time away this year.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

12 Hours of Misery for Less Than 12 Seconds of a Lifer

Not sure how much I feel like telling you tonight, as in many ways it would be a repeat of other reports of boat trips where the sea sickness got the best of me.  This time was a little different, in that I was well  rested, well fed and well medicated.  What I didn't count on was the change from west coast chumming to east coast chumming.  Out west they are a little more laid back and popcorn is the choice of Debi Shearwater.  Here in the manly man east, they chum with fish guts.  Though I have nearly no sense of smell, I think the fish guts turned my stomach sour and no amount of Ginger Ale and dramamine was gong to save me.

There were lots of birds, all but one of which I had seen this year.  My targets for this trip, besides any rarities, were Black-headed Gull, Manx Shearwater and the very unlikely Great Skua.  Only two Manx Shearwaters were seen all day and the first, who was around long enough for everyone else on the boat to see, appeared while I was asleep inside the cabin, having taken two too many dramamine pills.

Once I was upright, I wasn't going to leave the deck, no matter now many times my body rebelled on me and sent the contents of me stomach into the water with the fish guts.  Happy chumming.  It might have paid off, as not one hour later, but perhaps two hours later, one of the leaders shouted, "Manx Shearwater off the aft, heading left, away from the boat."  I was able to see it for a short time before it headed into a flock of gulls.  We all scanned it, the boat stopped and circled around hoping to get us close enough to get better looks and photos.  No luck.  Another Manx never appeared again.  I stayed out on the deck for another hour or so, but eventually had to go inside and rest.  I slept almost all the way to the dock, 12 hours after leaving at 6:30 this morning.

It was a rough day, but in the end, worth it for bird number 554

I need dinner now.  I need to sleep more.  Later I shall see if I got any good photos of the birds that did follow the boat for more than 12 seconds.

Friday, 16 November 2012


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, even two weeks later, my decision to drive into the heart of New York City was, to put it mildly, ill conceived and to state it more bluntly, awesomely stupid. And if you've been following me all year, you know two things about me:

Thing 1: I don't bandy about the word awesome lightly , if ever.

Thing 2: I have made my share if mistakes and tactical errors during my Big Year.

And at 8:28am on Friday morning I was still stuck smack dab in the middle of my biggest driving boo boo of the year. So no Barnacle Goose, let alone a Northern Lapwing this day I figured. I attempted to make a hasty retreat at the next exit and make my way to Delaware, and look for birds along the coast until It was times to board the boat tomorrow morning.

I had just heard, via 1010 WINS News out of New York, that it was a truck accident and not post Sandy traffic that has caused this delay. It's also the first day trucks are allowed into NY City.

Glad I had a full tank of gas.

Trouble was, there was no exit prior to the exit for the park I was driving to in Manhattan to get off at, and I was only six moves and it turned out about an hour away. But I did eventually get out of the Mother Of All Traffic Jams, and make my way to Inwood Hill Park and the Canada Geese.

In fact I found them all congregating in one area between the baseball fields and the pond, and could get close enough to examine each and every one for a white face, signifying a Barnacle Goose. I was close enough and they were tame enough that I could have taken DNA samples in case the Barnacle was in disguise as a Canada Goose.

But alas, this detour into Manhattan only resulted in a lovely morning walk, and great views, including the new, nearly completed Freedom Tower as I made my way out of Lower. manhattan.

Snow Day

I was on my way to Delaware yesterday morning and since I was passing through Brighton, decided to spend a little time in Presquile Provincial Park looking for Snow Buntings, Black Scoters and Purple Sandpipers. A colorful list, it seems, of black, white and purple. Had I realized that 3 minutes ago, I might have given this posting a different and slightly more clever title. Of course, I could have changed it and not even told you, such is my high level of honesty.

I walked Gull Island and before spotting any of the target birds, saw and scooped the first of two Snowy Owls. Though I have seen Snowy Owls on previous occasions this year, this was a fantastic look at these lovely birds. I met a couple of birders along the way, one of which had seen Snow Buntings a little earlier, but they had flown into the high grass. I walked through the high grass trying to flush one or two, but none came out. When I returned to the beach, riot there, feeding in the sand were 4 Snow Buntings, I followed them along the beach, but they would move about 5 feet away for every 5 feet I drew closer. I got some good looks and then moved along, searching for the Purple Sandpipers and perhaps a Black Scoter or raptor of some sort.

As I was getting close to the land bridge back to the mainland, which is really a sand bar at low tide, I saw a large flock of birds. Each and every one, Snow Buntings - at this point I was hoping for Purple Sandpipers, but you can't have everything. I did the same dance of move 5 feet, and watch the flock fly or run 5 feet. They all took off at one point and were joined by another flock. There were dozens of them, a veritable blizzard of Snow Buntings. I got some okay pictures and headed back, only to be stopped along the way for a group of black duck-like birds at scoping distance in the bay. Turned out toe be Scoters. All three, Surf, White-winged and, Black.

So in one beautiful, warm, windless and sun drenched morning I was able to add two birds to my year list, 552 and 553 on a side trio on my way to east coast America. Pretty cool.

I am just outside New York, eating Breakfast, and heading to a park in the Bronx in hopes of seeing a Barnacle Goose. Then it is off to Lewes, Delaware and a pelagic tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Bohemian Rhapsody

A couple of days after chasing and not finding the Northern Hawk Owl, or any Bohemian Waxwing after a 5 hour drive - each way - to Ottawa, Ontario, I heard that Bohemian Waxwings had been seen a little closer to home, on Toronto Island.  The Bohemian Waxwings are such lovely singers.   I heard them singing before I saw them and as there were only Bohemians present I was serenaded with their lovely trilling songs, rather than the irritating high pitch whine of the Cedar Waxwings.

I was on the Toronto Island this morning after reading Norm Murr's posting on OntBirds yesterday. He had seen the Bohemian's along with Cedar Waxwings and a Red-headed Woodpecker. I have chased these darker cousins of the Cedar Waxwings from Anchorage, Alaska to Ottawa, Ontario and thought I'd never be in the right place at the time for these guys.

Norm e-mailed me exact directions to the field where they had been flocking and the birds appeared on cue for me. Well, almost. When I arrived, there were no birds of any kind. I did hear some distant calls, so I pulled out my iPhone and played the Bohemian Waxwing call, to listen to see if what I was hearing were the Bohemians. Within 30 seconds of playing the calls, not only was I hearing the Bohemian Waxwings, I was seeing a flock of about 10 of them flying into a tree behind me. I got my binoculars on them and was thrilled to have a great look at a lovely pair of these darkly beautiful birds.

And within a few minutes I was hearing the gentle trilling of half a dozen or more of the Bohemian Birdies. I stood in the clearing for about 20 minutes being serenaded. The birds kept coming to a berry bush and grabbing a snack, then flying back into the bare trees to eat. A beautiful, sunny November morning, down by the lake, enjoying a Bohemian Rhapsody, to the tune of Big Year Bird number 551.

Tomorrow I embark on a week long adventure. I will be driving to Lewes, Delaware for a pelagic and then flying down to Arizona for some winter desert birds. Lots of driving, boating, flying and walking. All in a Year's work, I guess.

Friday, 9 November 2012

All work and Little Birding

Does not do anything helpful with less than two months left to go in 2012. However, I need only get through the weekend and I shall be off and chasing again. I'd like to find Bohemian Waxwings and Snow Buntings before heading down to Delaware and the pelagic with Paulagics.  I am also "gunning" for a chance at a Barrows Goldeneye and Northern Hawk Owl.  I will see how much birding I can fit in before I leave for Delaware.

In the meantime I can just sit and watch the bird alerts with patience and just a little bit of envy for those who can go birding this weekend.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Ross's Goose

I got really nice looks at one this morning. I was returning from having my eye-cap replaced on my binoculars and my route back to Toronto passed through Oakville and Mississauga where a Purple Sandpiper and Ross's Goose had been reported.

Along with a good gaggle of other birders down by the lake in Oakville I was unable, once again, to find a reported Purple Sandpiper. Then again no one else found it today either.

I stopped in Mississauga's Lakefront Promenade to see if I could find and get a good photograph of the Ross's Goose, as I didn't get a good picture earlier in he year, as it had its head tucked. This time I did much better. The goose wasn't at its reported location at the baseball diamonds, but I did relocate it down by the lake, on the grass near the boardwalk, feeding with a large group of Canada Geese. I got great looks at the bird, from 15 feet away and nice photos.

I have just heard there is a Barrow's Golden-eye at Lakeside Park in Mississauga, so I shall be up and chasing early tomorrow morning.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Days: 278 - Birds: 550

Eurasian Wigeon

OntBirds to the rescue again.  Could I have done a Big Year without those daily E-mails? Could anyone do a Big Year without Bird Alerts?  The Internet is alive with alerts from OntBirds, E-Bird, FLARBA and NARBA, to mention only a handful.  Back in 1998 when Sandy Komito, Greg Miller and Al Levantin did their Big Year, one would have to call up NARBA and give a password, such as "Great Gary Owl," in order to gain access to the "secret" list of rare bird alerts.   Now even a no-nothing, first-year birder like me can build up a great, big list by doing nothing more than checking their In-box.   Oh and driving, flying and walking thousands of miles, non-stop for 12 months.

The Eurasian Wigeon was the first bird of my eleventh month of non-stop madness.  I ran into another birder early this morning at Whitby's Thickson Point, who was also searching for the wigeon.  We were seeing Brant, and American Wigeon, mergansers and even a Tundra Swan, but no Eurasian Wigeon.

As I was shivering in the "colder by the lake," chill of Thickson Point, trying not to shiver my way off the edge of the cliff face, Glenn Coady ambled up, hoping the Eurasian Wigeon might be close enough to be seen from his backyard, so he could add it to his ever-growing yard list.

As he and the other gentleman,(naturally, I forgot his name), began chatting about hawk watches, I trudged down the narrow path, a foot from the edge of oblivion, and closer to a whole lot of duck-like birds.   I set up my scope, not too close to the edge, and scanned the shallow pools close to the rocky outcropping.  Amazingly, I found the quite beautiful Eurasian Wigeon on my first look.  That nearly never happens.  I watched it for a couple of minutes and waved back to let the other guys know I could see it from my vantage point and they came closer to get a better look with me.

 Good times.

Just 22 more species to get to my goal of 572 and match Roger Tory Peterson's "Wild America" Big Year, and 50 more birds for 600.  But I still have miles to fly and drive before I rest, and only 56 days left in 2012 in which to see them all.

Tick - Tick - Tick...

Brant "goose:"

The Red-headed duck feeding in the middle of the frame is the Eurasian Wigeon:

Friday, 2 November 2012

Work is a bad 4 Letter Word

On the other hand, bird is a good 4 letter word. I will have lots of the former and very little of the latter over the next 10 days.

Such is life. In order to pay for the rest of my Big Year I have to work. But the more I work, the less I bird. Frustratingly double edged sword.

There will be some early morning birding after we go back to Standard Time, but almost no chasing. Luckily, after this 10 day stretch I head out on the road again to Delaware for a pelagic, Arizona for some winter specialties and missed birds, then to Cape May for another pelagic on December 1. I will be heading to Nashville shortly thereafter and from there head figure out a game plan for the rest of the year.

Hopefully I will have something to write about over the next 10 days besides my frustration over not birding.