Showing posts from February, 2009

Thanks for the comments!

Thank you to everyone for posting comments along the way. Keep 'em coming. Though I don't reply to all of them, I certainly read all of them. They are much appreciated and make this blog worthwhile. Oh, and for those of you who can't stand gulls, don't give up on this space. Winter's almost over! - Nick

Massachusetts - SLATY-BACKED GULL

The Connecticut River Valley's superb gulling continues. This SLATY-BACKED GULL was seen briefly last night at Turner's Falls, MA by James P. Smith and confirmed this evening by James and a handful of birders. As JPS initially suspected, this is the same individual found by Patrick Dugan in Windsor, CT on Feb 9th. Turner's Falls is about 50 miles north (up the Connecticut River) from the Windsor area. Fascinating stuff. Congrats to James for the state's first inland record and fourth overall. Look to James' blog, Pioneer Birding, for more pics and info on his great find. He also saw the bird in Windsor and has photos posted there. - NB

2/7 - NH and MA (Hawk-Owl, Hoaries, etc)

Last weekend I made a trip north with Glenn Williams and Phil Rusch. Our main target was the Northern Hawk-Owl that has been wintering in Center Harbor, NH. We pulled up to find the bird right along the road. The owl flew from perch-to-perch and even chowed down on a juicy vole. From there we headed to Tony Vazzano's house in nearby Sandwich where he had been visited by a large flock of redpolls that included 2-3 Hoaries. Tony invited us indoors where we were treated to nice views of at least 2 Hoaries through his living room windows. The flock also contained multiple rostrata (aka "Greater") Common Redpolls. Three redpoll taxa in one shot. Note the exilipes Hoary Redpoll at center, and a rostrata Common Redpoll in the upper right. Head-on view of one of the Hoaries. Flashing its white rump We took a detour on our way home by birding Salisbury and Plum Island, MA. Salisbury treated us to great looks at over a dozen White-winged Crossbills, plus distant looks at a Snowy Ow

iPhone Review

*July 14, 2009 UPDATE: Some important changes with the iPhone since my initial review: - 'Cut & Paste' functions have finally been added via a software upgrade! - A new iPhone, the 3GS, has been released. It is priced the same as the 3G originally was. The 3G price has been cut in half. - The new iPhone 3GS is capable of video recording and has an upgraded camera, so my negative comments about the camera may not apply to the new version. - The new iPhone 3GS doubles its space from 8GB to 16GB. [end update] I purchased an Apple iPhone back in September as my required smartphone for school. Recently a few folks have asked me about its use as a birding tool. In short, I love it. It's not without its problems, however. Here's an honest review, cons first: CONS: - ***Important to remember*** The use of many of the phone's features (email, internet access, etc) is dependent on cell phone coverage. If you're in the middle of nowhere without coverage, these importa