Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nova Scotia 1: Bay of Fundy

When we decided to go to Nova Scotia for a mid-summer vacation, I had visions of all kinds of north Atlantic birds dancing through my head. I would see new gulls, terns, pelagic birds, shorebirds; it would be bird heaven. And then I realized that many of these birds head to the Far North for the summer and that many others of these birds spend most of their time away from seashore. How would I have a chance to see any of these birds?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Birding Down to Maryland: A Short Trip

Paul went to Nova Scotia recently, but before that he went to eastern Oregon. Yeah, he gets around more than me, but I do the best I can with my little corner of the world! So after his Oregon trip, I took a trip down to Maryland for oddly similar reasons. While travelling there, I decided to do a little birding and keep a list of all the birds I saw that day. A big day? Nahhh, not that big, but here is my travelogue (along with other information added later and various musings)!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Year of Birds by the Numbers, Part 2

We have reached the 1/2 point through the Bird of Year competition and, much like I did for the 1/4 way mark, it is time for another numerical analysis of our progress!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Damon's Birds for the Weeks of July 7 - July 20

Ok, I don't quite have the neat stories as Paul (no trips to New Scotland, no pelagic birds) and I haven't been to Cape May during this last couple of weeks, but I did get a new bird each of the weeks!

Weeks 28 and 29 Paul's Update (Nova Scotia)

As Damon mentioned, now that birding has slowed down in the heat of the summer, we are posting every other week updates. I could have posted one last week but it would have been fairly short, and besides that I was on vacation looking for new birds.

And I did find new birds because we went to Nova Scotia and kicked around the Southern Shore for a few days. As it is on the coast and has different habitats, this made it fairly easy to track down a new bird or two. Nova Scotia is also fairly "boreal" giving it some more northerly birds as well. It also helped that we went on a whale-watching boat ride, which was actually a bird-watching trip for me (more on this later).

Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Review: Kingbird Highway by Kenn Kaufman

It is book review time here at The Year of Birds! We will have plenty of these as a relatively regular feature, or at least whenever we have time to read bird-related books and talk about them. And while the format may change with different reviews, today we are having a question and each of us give our own answer to it as it relates to the book. Yes, you can probably note that Damon can be long-winded and meandering, but you've already read enough on this site to know that already.

So, what is the first book of the Year of Birds Book Club? Is it the obvious The Big Year? Nah, since we both read that years ago. Nope, today we are reading Kingbird Highway, by Kenn Kaufman. Is it just a story of him hitchhiking his way in search of birds and the reason for the extraneous second 'n' on his first name?

Week 27 Paul's Update

I really don't have much to update because I saw no new bird species this past week. Hopefully this will change in the couple few weeks, and tomorrow I expect my luck will start to change.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Damon's Birds for the Week of June 30 - July 6

Ok, we are back to normal programming, and I am back to not being shutout!

So after not seeing any new birds the previous week, despite desperately searching for both local cuckoos, I knew I had to change tactics. And by "change tactics" I meant "take another weekend trip down to Cape May"! Oh, let me tell you, Independence Day is not the time to go to the shore. Yeah, I've been there many times over the years, but I've never had traffic quite that bad down there as this year's fourth of July weekend. It was bad.

But it wasn't bad when  you get up early in the morning to go driving to Cape May. The first day down there was the Friday after the 4th so there were no birding walks in the morning, so instead I just wandered around Cape May Point by myself. And, oh the terns!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Damon's Birds for the Week of June 23 - June 29

I tried this week.

I started the week in southern New Jersey, including a morning trip by myself to Cape May Point to go birding. I saw lots of neat birds (more later), but the 'new' birds on that trip were ones I had seen the previous day.  It really is a nice place, and the walk in the trails was great, so I wasn't complaining. Still, at least show me a skimmer!

Week 26 Paul's Update (Carden Alvar)

We are now half way through the year and I can't believe its already July. The past few months have really been whirlwind of birds and stuff. But something I never imagined during the cold and bleak days of winter is that there is a summertime lull in the birding. Now, I didn't get shut out this week but my opportunities to see new bird species are certainly becoming narrower. Perhaps I will have to take another trip soon to some exotic birding paradise. Anyways, I have been slowing down my birding and making fewer trips afield.