Showing posts from 2017

Birding in Connecticut: Available for Preorder

For anyone likely to spend any time at all birding in Connecticut, Frank Gallo's upcoming book will be a must-own. I've seen the layout and a few of the chapters myself, and it looks fantastic. click for larger image Available on Amazon for preorder, and it will certainly be selling in local shops come May 1st! - NB

A cold front and a Corn Crake

After an unseasonably warm and unbirdy October, the first week of November has seen a bit of a return to normalcy. A short-lived cold front over the weekend delivered a nice hawk flight at Lighthouse Point in New Haven, CT, where we tallied three migrating SHORT-EARED OWLS, an impressive number for sure. record shot of one of the day's Short-eared Owls "Rarity Month" is also off to a banging start regionally with this chase-able CORN CRAKE on Long Corn Crake The rest of the year will likely be quiet in this space, as work, travel, and the holidays will keep blogging on the back-burner for a bit. I'll have much more to report after the holidays, though, as three weeks in Australia and two in Japan will deserve some attention :)  - NB

I'm still here...

...just waiting for a cold front, thanks.

October pelagic opportunity

For you pelagic enthusiasts, the Brookline Bird Club (Massachusetts) has scheduled an overnight pelagic to the canyons southeast of Cape Cod for the weekend of October 14-15. This is in response to both the Aug and Sep overnighters being weathered-out. Deep-water pelagics have never been run to these ridiculously productive waters in October, which is part of what makes the opportunity so exciting. Our route usually takes us over the Nantucket Shoals twice, on our way to and from our main birding area: the edge of the continental shelf. This is potentially a super exciting time to be out there. We have a shot at (I won't use the word "expect," because you never know with birding...) 5+ species of shearwater, Northern Fulmar, multiple storm-petrel species, a solid jaeger migration, both skuas, and many more. This is a great time of year for Red Phalarope, Sabine's Gull, and Black-legged Kittiwake. Northern Gannets will be on the return south. Alcids are certainly

Cape Cod -- Aug 19-21, 2017 (Part 2 of 2)

Aug 20: Our hope on this day was to visit South Monomoy Island, a legendary autumn birding locale situated at the very tip of the "elbow" of Cape Cod. Despite the island's stellar reputation, well-deserved thanks to a long list of vagrants and numbers of migrant passerines, you pretty much never hear anything about it these days. That's simply because the island is difficult to access; it is only reachable by boat. If you take a look at its position on the map above, you can see why it must be an amazing place right after an autumn cold front. We would be visiting in mid-August, with no such frontal boundary nearby, so we were not expecting a landbird migration. However South Monomoy can also produce shorebirds, terns, and long-legged waders, and this was a fine time of year for those. We launched the boat out of Harwich and made our way to the public landing area of this portion of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Our hike took us first to the lighthouse,

Cape Cod -- Aug 19-21, 2017 (Part 1 of 2)

Cape Cod weekend birding map (courtesy of Julian Hough) The weekend of Aug 19-20 was supposed to be spent offshore. More specifically, this was the weekend of the uber-successful Brookline Bird Club overnight deepwater pelagic, AKA the 'Extreme Pelagic.' The track record for this late-August trip is unparalleled in the region, so we greatly anticipate it every summer. So, naturally we were bummed to hear that this year's trip would be canceled due to high seas. In an effort to make the most of the situation, several friends made the journey to Cape Cod anyway for some birding by land and boat. Given the nice inshore forecast I decided to trailer my boat. Aug 19: Most of us arrived early on Saturday the 19th with the idea of seabirding from Race Point in Provincetown, having heard recent rumors of shearwaters right along the beach. We did not think they would literally be along the beach, but that is exactly what we found. Thousands of shearwaters of four species