Showing posts from June, 2013

June 1-3 NC Pelagics (OR 'Cahow I missed Bermuda Petrel!')

Earlier this month I was joined by Frank Mantlik, John Oshlick, and Phil Rusch for three days of seabirding off Hatteras, NC with Brian Patteson . We had a nice turnout, as expected for the date, with a full boat on June 1 and most spots filled on the following two days. Top-notch seabirding, as usual. Here is a brief day-by-day summary with some accompanying photos. Thanks to Kate Sutherland for the official numbers. June 1 Today was warm and rather calm, perhaps too calm (if there is such a thing). The lack of wind kept many birds low or on the water, but there was enough breeze to disperse the scent of our chum slick for the storm-petrels. It was a beautiful and comfortable day to be in the Gulf Stream. Diversity was quite high, with several notable species seen. The final highlight of the day came on the ride home when Brian intercepted a pod of FALSE KILLER WHALES. Awesome. Black-capped Petrel  4 Cory's Shearwater  63-73 Great Shearwater  7 Sooty Shearwater  1 Audubon

Review: "Birds of Europe, Russia, China, and Japan" by Norman Arlott

I recently acquired a copy of Princeton University Press's "Birds of Europe, Russia, China, and Japan" by Norman Arlott (copyright 2007), a two-volume illustrated checklist (7.5x5 inches, ~240 pages each, one for passerines and one for non-passerines). I have loved most of Princeton's line of bird books, but my review of this one may come across as a bit harsh. First off, I'm not a fan of "illustrated checklists," whatever those are. Generally when I see that term, I picture a checklist with a single crummy representative photo per species. But that is not what you'll find here. Amazingly there isn't a single checklist to be found in either book. I don't know what to make of that exactly, given the sub-genre to which these books supposedly belong. Basically we're dealing with a low-end field guide here. I will explain. Here is the format: text on left page, plate on opposite page. See photo below: This quote from the Introduc

CT's Next 15 Birds - Six Years Later

Back in the summer of 2007 I began to piece together an article, later published in The Connecticut Warbler , that attempted to predict (AKA 'guess') the next 15 bird species to be added to the CT state list. Now that we're six years out, it's time for another look back. The "research" included assembling a 13-member panel to submit their own Top Ten Lists, ranked from most (10 pts) to least likely (1 pt). A total of 47 species received votes. Here they are (since recorded species in bold): Rank Votes Points 1 Townsend's Warbler 13 117 2 Swainson's Warbler 11 68 3 Black-chinned Hummingbird 10 70 4 Little Egret 6 39 5 California Gull 6 28 6 White-winged Tern 6 19 t7 Allen's Hummingbird 5 29 t7 Hammond's Flycatcher 5 29 9 Sla