Showing posts from 2018


Today's well-timed sou'easter delivered a substantial alcid flight to the western RI coast, with some trickling in to CT waters. The key for us in Connecticut is the wind direction - winds out of the southeast are best because our coast is south-facing. Northeast wind, which is great for places like Andrews Point and Race Point in Massachusetts, doesn't work so well for us. Today's winds were sustained around 30mph per buoy data in eastern Long Island Sound, which is enough to pin alcids against a shoreline. A mid-morning report from Rhode Island, where Chris Raithel was seeing hundreds of westward-bound Razorbills, kicked my lazy butt into gear and sent me to Stonington Point, the eastern-most point of land in CT. Here, Russ Smiley and Dave Provencher had already been watching. Apparently the early morning was quiet at this site, but Dave had his first Razorbill not long after arriving just before 11am. I pulled in at 11:30 and they had a few RAZO on the water. The

Narragansett, Rhode Island

I have spent surprisingly little time birding Rhode Island over the years, especially considering how often I have driven through the state, particularly when I was attending Stonehill College in Easton, MA. Still, I know that the Ocean State has some fine habitat to offer birders. In fact, birding just over the CT/RI state line into Washington County, RI is a sad reminder that modest tracts of public ocean-facing land are so close to my home state...and yet it feels so far. Connecticut, of course, lacks a true sea coast, as we are essentially blocked by Long Island and Fishers Island. The Rhode Island coast doesn't really "stick out there" like eastern MA or Long Island, but it sure beats Connecticut, at least for those of us who feel drawn to the sea. On this seasonable windless December day I found myself in Narragansett and aimed to spend the afternoon poking around the coastline. I'm quite sure this was actually my first time birding here, unless you want to

Bermuda Trip Report

Greetings! Allison Black and I are recently back from 5 full days in Bermuda, where we were in search of Bermuda Petrels (AKA Cahows), among other things! Yes, we succeeded in seeing the birds, including a seawatch that tallied 25+ individuals! Unfortunately, both of our boat trips were canceled due to weather, so we were unable to see them up close and personal. Though not a classically hardcore birding trip (we mixed birding and relaxation), I put together a brief report for independent traveling birders who are looking to do Bermuda on their own. It is meant to be just a starting point. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to email me. Of course, for those wishing to truly maximize their time with the petrels, I would recommend joining Bob Flood's "Cahow Experience" tour. Contact him via I have not taken his tour but have heard fantastic things and have no doubt that this is the best way to observe this specie

Pantanal 2018 - One last Jaguar search, and north up the Transpantaneira

Oct 27 (PM) We spent our last evening on the river in search of more mammals. We ended up 3-for-3 on Jaguar searches...or more like 4-for-3, since we would see two cats this afternoon. One, a thin young female, was cruising the water's edge for prey. Alas, no luck there for her. Later we would only briefly view a large male that stayed out of the open. Photos of the female below. hey, life is good Oct 28 After breakfast on the boat we said our good-byes to the crew and disembarked at Porto Jofre. A pair of HYACINTH MACAWS was feeding in the palms near the dock. Hyacinth Macaw We made our way back about two-thirds the length of the Transpantaneira to the Pousada Rio Claro, where we would stay for one night - our last night in Brazil. your typical Transpantaneira bridge Nanday Parakeets were the stars here. Nanday Parakeets In the afternoon we took a walk around the grounds followed by a boat trip up the Rio Claro. We ended our final

Pantanal 2018 - To the Paraguay River and (almost) Bolivia

Oct 25 This morning we would continue towards the west and then turn north onto the Paraguay River. The scenery really began to change here. Accustomed to a very flat landscape, hills and mountains were now visible to the west. Sergio spotted a LEAST BITTERN peeking up through the tops of marshy riverside vegetation. Raptors really took to the air mid-morning, and glancing upward paid off in the form of a dark morph adult WHITE-TAILED HAWK. Had never before seen a dark morph before! Least Bittern White-tailed Hawk (dark morph adult) immature Rufescent Tiger-Heron Bare-faced Curassow Wattled Jacana on giant lily pad Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks Hyacinth Macaws Straight-billed Woodcreeper Brown-crested Flycatcher Later that afternoon we would set foot on land for the first time in a while, at the Acurizal Reserve on the west bank of the Paraguay River. Safe from jaguars here, we could actually walk around a bit. The forest here w