Showing posts from 2021

Big Sit! in Old Lyme, CT - Oct 9, 2021

The Big Sit! is an annual event on a predetermined weekend in October during which teams attempt to see or hear as many bird species as possible from the confines of a 17-foot circle. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is! There really is only one major rule: someone must see or hear said bird from the circle itself. It does not even need to be identifiable from the circle. In other words, one can leave the circle to identify a distant bird, as long as said bird is visible from the circle itself.  Technically a "competition," this casual and fun event is more a "challenge" than anything else and might even double as a fundraiser for nature centers. Certain teams have been participating from the same circle for years now, and the goal is really just to have fun with it. Some teams do keep detailed records of their sightings, each year hoping to top their circle's previous record count. Others, such as the Milford Point "B.W. Surf Scopers," have also kept a

Last-Minute Algarve, Portugal! Oct 26-28, 2021

I’d be the first to admit that I am not the most spontaneous international traveler. Knowing that flight and rental car costs often increase dramatically within a month or so of departure (not a hard rule but certainly a trend), and that affordable lodging might fill well in advance, one generally can save a ton of money by booking months ahead. This also allows me to secure time from work and be far more likely to recruit travel companions. After working a solid 70 hours over five days I found myself with several days off during peak local birding and fishing season, which also happens to be a generally glorious time to be outside in New England. IMO it is the best time of year to live here. But when I looked ahead to the week’s forecast I saw an unusually long stretch of unsettled weather. Any breaks in the rain were forecast to be brief and windy. So boating would be out of the question. You could argue that inclement weather often brings good birds, and you would be correct, but

Whirlwind Peru!

Recently back from about 10 days in Peru. Friend and still-young birder Jory Teltser had been itching to get away during his trimester break from school, and I was happy to oblige. Jory picked the location and general itinerary. I pretty much just showed up! I arrived in Cusco on the morning of September 14th, grabbed a rental SUV and collected Jory, who had been hanging around Cusco & vicinity with his uncle for about a week. We immediately hit the road for what would be our most ambitious leg of the trip: driving to Lake Titicaca for one night and returning to Cusco the following evening. Thanks to two road closures and a few roadside birding stops the drive took about 8 hours each way. That left us with one morning's birding on the lake near Puno. Our "floating island" Airbnb provided us with birds from the porch at first light, but a boat ride from our hosts provided us with our first major target of the trip, TITICACA GREBE. Titicaca Grebe Plumbeous Rail chick An