eBird "live" trip reports

I did not realize this until very recently, but you can create a Trip Report in eBird BEFORE your trip, and the report will automatically update as you submit checklists within those dates set by you. In that way it functions as a "live" report. I've never been one to blog during a trip, as I just don't have the time. Heck, lately I don't even have time to post every trip once I'm home! But I am currently at the start of a two-week solo journey through Bulgaria, and I'm trying this report format for the first time. For anyone curious as to what I'm seeing as I go, see the link below. Off to a pretty spectacular start between nailing a couple tough boreal targets and witnessing some fantastic viz-mig this afternoon, though the itinerary has already been adjusted due to weather :). Bulgaria - eBird Trip Report  - Nick

The decline of spring gulls in Connecticut

If you scrolled back through this space's March and April posts over the years, you'd find a significant number of entries devoted to gulls. Specifically, gulls tied to an annual phenomenon that we have referred to as "plankton feeding." Each late winter/early spring, Long Island Sound is home to mats of floating plankton that have been proven to mostly consist of barnacle larvae. These gazillions of larvae provide an irresistible food source to staging and migrating gulls and waterfowl. Typical scene off Stratford during the plankton event Towing for plankton, most of which are barnacle larvae At various sites along the coast, numbers routinely exceed a thousand birds in a single scan, with exceptional reports on peak days of 10k-plus birds. Migrant Ring-billeds dominate, followed by Herring and Bonaparte's. Rarer species are regularly found among the flocks either actively feeding offshore or at coastal roosts. CT's first Short-billed Gull indulging in the f

Just Announced: Tour to the Pantanal and Jardim da Amazonia, Brazil - Sep 2024

I am very excited to be returning to Brazil's Pantanal in 2024, this time as a guide for Sunrise Birding . This will be my third tour to this must-see region. For those not familiar, the Pantanal is the world's largest freshwater wetland and is THE place to see Jaguar in the wild. In addition to other fascinating mammals such as Tapir, Giant Otter, Maned Wolf and Giant Anteater, the area boasts several hundred species of birds in beautiful open savannah and riverine habitat. The birds there are not shy and tend to be quite photogenic in fact. Join us on what promises to be an unforgettable adventure. CLICK HERE for more information. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, here are a few images from my most recent visit, with Connecticut Audubon Society.  - Nick

Norwegian Double Dip! March 2022 and June 2023 (Part 2 of 2: June 2023)

It did not take long after the March 2022 visit to plan a return trip to Varanger for the breeding season. This time I teamed up with Mike Sylvia, former Massachusetts birder who is currently residing in Ireland. Having been to the area so recently, and having read through Biotope's fantastic "Birding Varanger" guidebook multiple times, planning was pretty easy. The one big change this time would be doing our forest birding in northern Finland instead of the Pasvik Valley. The Finland leg increased our chances at a few target species such as Broad-billed Sandpiper and Parrot Crossbill, among others. There would be more driving this way, but I was game to see a new area. Otherwise the route was pretty similar to the March visit. We flew in and out of Kirkenes and rented from Hertz, who provided us our vehicle at the airport with easy pick-up and drop-off and no hidden fees or scams. We arrived on the evening of June 20, fetched the car, stocked up on groceries, checked int