Showing posts from July, 2009

Off to Kentucky

Adios for a month! I'm on my way to Kentucky for a 4-week rotation at a Primary Care clinic in the far eastern part of the state. Bummed that I'll be missing the bulk of the adult shorebird migration (and beach season...), but this should be another valuable learning experience. - NB

Black-capped Petrel!

A last-minute delay in travel plans allowed me to get on board Saturday's Brookline Bird Club EXTREME PELAGIC to the edge of the Continental Shelf, and boy am I glad. I've been on several of these over the past few summers, and yesterday's trip was certainly one of the best. Normally these trips are characterized by hours of empty ocean between bursts of activity, but there were very few periods without birds yesterday. The real highlight was a BLACK-CAPPED PETREL that gave somewhat brief but fantastic views as it made a couple passes by the boat! Bigtime thanks to James P. Smith for being the first to spot and yell out to the rest of us! James was somehow able to obtain a couple of fantastic digibinned images which I'm sure will be posted to his blog, Pioneer Birding , in the coming hours. Jeremiah Trimble has already posted a fantastic set of images , including a few of the day's star pterodroma! Soon after we lost the petrel we attempted to draw it back in with a

more Wilson's Petrels in CT

7/19 UPDATE: Andy Griswold captured some nice images of the petrels and posted them to his BLOG ! [end update] This morning Glenn Williams, Jim Denham and I accompanied Andy Griswold on a boat ride into eastern Long Island Sound. We spent the bulk of our time mid-sound, just north of the 'state line.' Once we found a few Wilson's Storm-Petrels we threw out some menhaden oil, and before we knew it we had a handful of stormies pattering right behind the boat! Our high count at one time was 10 birds. The views were just spectacular...wish I had a real camera. Andy took a few shots with his SLR, and if he posts them to his blog I will be sure to set up a link. The petrels were in 150+ feet of water near the middle of the sound, immediately south of Bell 4. This area is off the CT coast between Niantic Bay and the mouth of the Thames River. All but one of the birds were presumably molting adults; there was a single freshly-plumaged individual which was likely a bird hatched this

Long Island Sound - Wilson's Storm-Petrels

Long Island Sound, half of which is Connecticut's portion of the Atlantic Ocean, is terribly deprived of pelagic birds. One of the few species that can be expected annually in small numbers is Wilson's Storm-Petrel. This morning Glenn Williams and I took the round trip ferry from New London, CT to Orient Point, NY in search of pelagic birds in CT waters. We had a few storm-petrels on the way out, but on the way back Glenn spotted a loose flock of 7 birds zig-zagging and pattering along the surface. I was able to 'digibin' one of the birds, albeit poorly: Flying to the right, angled away -NB

7/3 - Henslow's Sparrow, Sedge Wrens, and Mississippi Kite

Nope, I'm not on vacation in Missouri. These three species were seen during a fantastic morning of birding in southern New England! The highlight of the day was the continuing HENSLOW'S SPARROW found by Mark Fairbrother in Montague, MA. The word on the street this morning was that Mark first heard the bird while driving by the field with his windows down! As always, click for larger images: This guy spent much of his time teed-up towards the middle-rear of the field, but made occasional forays closer to the road during which he would either disappear into the grass or sing from a much lower perch. On my way north to Montague I stopped at a private location in South Windsor, CT to check out a Sedge Wren found by Paul Cianfaglione. I arrived around sunrise at a fogged-in wet meadow and quickly heard not one but two SEDGE WRENS singing away. At 6am one of the birds stopped singing while the other continued on and off until I left. I wonder if either bird is paired-off? At the edge