Showing posts from August, 2018

Connecticut's first LITTLE EGRET - Aug 8, 2018

On Saturday, Aug 4, 2018 Barbara Gearhart found a Little Egret at Napatree Point, Rhode Island. This was tantalizingly close to Connecticut, which had no prior records of the species. Further tormenting CT birders, early each morning the egret was spotted at Napatree and seemed to fly towards Barn Island in CT. Yet exhaustive searches of the large marsh system there did not turn up the bird. It was presumed to be feeding somewhere in CT, but could not be found... After a long evening walk at Barn Island on Monday the 6th, Allison Black and I decided to stop by Stonington Point to scan the water for egrets traveling to roost. We were surprised to find 100+ egrets roosting with several hundred cormorants on the east breakwater off Stonington Point. The birds were too far and the light too low to have any chance at picking out the Little Egret, if it decided to roost there. But we were intrigued, as that breakwater is just over the state line into Connecticut. On Tuesday the 7th, the

Japan, Feb 2018: Honshu leg 2

February 18: Julian had to get back a day earlier than Dave and I, so he took the hotel’s shuttle to HND for his departure, which went smoothly. Dave and I walked across the street to Nippon Rent-A-Car, where we had secured a cheap 12-hour compact car rental for the day. We drove east to Chiba/Ibaraki to clean up on a handful of key species we didn’t want to miss. We ended up doing a lot more driving than birding. Traffic was dense at times, and the going was slow, even on the toll roads. Our targets were very scattered throughout the two prefectures, and we ended up doing a large loop. One of our prime targets was Brown-headed Thrush. This species can be seen in small numbers at several locations in and around Tokyo, but a particular cluster of reports around Narita Airport was most convenient for us. We began by walking the woodland immediately north of the Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport, between the hotel itself and the Tokko River. After unsuccessfully stalking a cou

Japan, Feb 2018: Hokkaido

February 12: We awoke to a coating of snow on the ground but had no issues getting to the airport. We made sure we were there for rental car office opening. The vehicle was dropped off quickly and we made our flight easily. We flew from KOJ to KUH (Kushiro, Hokkaido) via a quick layover at HND. We rented from Nissan at Kushiro airport via Japan Experience. Another easy-breezy car pickup. This time we made sure to rent a beast, a Nissan XTrail with snow tires. It was a mad dash to get birding! We had two stops to make before our first shot at Blakiston’s Fish-Owl. So we drove north to Otowa Bridge, where a NORTHERN SHRIKE had been wintering. We spotted the shrike straight away, perched rather low to the stream. We parked the car and gathered our gear only to find that the bird had vanished. Better view desired. Yes, we have this species throughout the northern tier of North America, but shrike taxonomy is far from settled, and we would at the very least be seeing a different subspec