Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Doldrums? Nope!

Bird reports really drop off once June 1 rolls around, and they don't really pick up until the first uncommon/rare shorebird is found in late July/early August. Birders call this period the "summer doldrums." As we've seen this year, June is a fun time to be birding because it can be a great month for rarities.

Summer actually happens to be my favorite time of year to bird southern New England. For starters, migration virtually never ends. Northbound shorebird migration fades in mid-June while southbound migration has begun by the 4th of July. Mid-July is prime time for rare Eurasian shorebirds, particularly the stints. Common Terns are beginning to stage at this point, gathering less common species along the way.

Right now I'm looking forward to this summer's pelagic trips more than anything. I've signed up for four out-of-state pelagics between now and Labor Day. Since my schedule changes quite often, I might not be able to make it on all 4 boats, but I'm going to try (even if the grades do suffer just a little bit). This first trip comes this weekend...one of the BBC trips out of Cape Cod to the edge of the Continental Shelf. I don't think they've ever run a June trip, so I'm not quite sure what to expect, but it'll just be great to be on the water again and see some birds we see only a couple times per year. It will also be an opportunity to attempt digibinning while riding 4-foot swells. Hopefully I can manage a few decent images and put together a trip report here.

NB

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