Archive for 2008 June

Birding in Maine – A Moose, a Thrush and a whole-lot-of striking out…

Female Blackburnian Warbler:

Photobucket

So I usually don’t go on about unsuccessful birding trips (it’s just not as fun to talk about them :)), but that is a big part of it and I think what truly makes Birding so special. You can have 10 Billion dollars but you aren’t going to pay a bird to show up for you. The misses make the “gets” that much sweeter. So yes back to Maine. We decided it might be worth 16 hours of driving (8 each way) to go and try to see some of the Boreal species found in northern Maine. There also was the opportunity to see the only truly endemic bird of the Northeast, the Bicknell’s Thrush. So with visions of Boreal Chickadees, Grey Jays, Spruce Grouse, and Black-backed Woodpeckers in our heads we headed off. Fast forward 16 hours and a whole lot of walking and none of the birds mentioned above made and appearance except…for the Bicknell’s Thrush. We briefly saw and heard a single bird who sat singing wonderfully off the side of the Appalachian Trail (Unfortunately, not in the open enough for a picture :() on Route 4 near Rangeley Maine. What a beautifully long melody! Though we missed the area’s specialty birds we did see many Blackburnian Warblers, Black-throated Blue Warblers and Black-throated Green Warblers and 2 Moose! (Its not Mooses is it? :)) Above is a picture of a beautiful female Blackburnian Warbler and below is our friend the Moose.
Moose in Maine:

Photobucket

Full Story »

Bank Swallows – South Amboy – June 14th, 2008

Photobucket
So with some luck last Fall Jeanette and I saw multiple Cave Swallows near Congress Hall in Cape May and loads of Tree, Cliff, Barn and N. Rough-winged at Bull’s Island (A great spot for Cliff Swallow). That left only one of New Jersey’s more common swallows to see for us, and that was the Bank Swallow. With some great information from fellow birder Tom O. (Thanks Tom! :)) we headed down to South Amboy to look for them flying in and out of their homes in the “Bank” of an eroding Sand Dune. They didn’t disappoint and we were surrounded by them as we walked towards the beach. Some work to apparently “improve” the dune has left less area for the swallows to live in which you can see at the bottom of the picture above. A life bird in South Amboy! Who knew? :)

Full Story »

Western Grebe – Sandy Hook – June 1st, 2008

Photobucket
Sandy Hook has been really good for the rare or uncommon bird sightings this spring. It’s location and habitat seem perfect for the last second relaxation or energy refueling stop before heading north. Over the last year the “Hook” gave Jeanette and I some firsts for us like Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, and Townsend’s Solitaire. Today I got another personal life bird with a great looking Western Grebe. Through pretty far out, (as shown in the “Lockness” like picture quality above :)) nice scope views were had and plenty of time spent enjoying the view. June of 08 off to a good start! OH! And BTW I had three Grasshopper Sparrows at Negri Napote on the way home from Sandy Hook! My first of the year.

Full Story »