Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Our Year of Warblers 2013

If you weren't aware before, we weren't really hard-core birders when the year started. Sure, we were casual birders, but nothing like we are now. I know I've always kept a house list with my myriad of feeders, and I had been in a lab with real ornithologists (I worked on beetles) for about 12 years, but I hadn't really gone out and been a birder.

That all has changed.

I can't speak for Paul, but in reality, all it took was going out consistently birding and every week it seemed I was at least twice as good as I was the week before. It happened slowly, but for the first couple of months I was gaining in my birding ability and, most importantly, comfort in birding and being around other birders. But migration was approaching and I was dreading the influx of warblers.

How silly is that? Dreading having to figure out the warblers? Seriously? It just seemed intimidating, but I went out and soon I had to deal with the warblers.

And I loved every minute of it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Bobo-Links for December 13

Ok, we are trying something new hear and we'll see how well it works out weekly. There are lots of things going on in the world of birds and birding, and while we know the majority of people rely mostly on The Year of Birds blog for their birding fix, there are other blogs and news sources out there. We would not want your insatiable appetite for this blog to have caused you to miss out on them!

Some weeks we may have themes of what we link to, some weeks may have lots of links, some weeks may have few. Some weeks may have links that are tangentially related to birds (I tend to do stuff like that sometimes).

Also, I'm not married to the name, but it is cute. Any suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Weeks 39-48 Paul's Update

I have recently been on a sabbatical from birding. This isn't really by choice but instead largely due to the end of the Fall term, several over-lapping proposal deadlines, and other somewhat trivial, time-consuming job related responsibilities. Despite all of that, I have been able to continue my birding activities, albeit with a lower intensity.

As this lull coincides with the onset of the long Canadian winter, my birding results have been somewhat sparse. In the past two months, I managed to see only 2 new species. One was a warbler flitting through the treetops in early October before all of the warblers left by the end of that month. The other bird was a Common Gallinule (or as previously referred to- the moorhen) which was seen on Lake Ontario during a short road trip with my parents.

Monday, December 9, 2013

North American Warblers: Ranked, part 2

It snowed at least 8 inches here yesterday and it is pitch black by 5:30 p.m. This morning it warmed up enough to be about 35 degrees, so there is also a good deal of slush. I have to face it: the days of long, warm days are a ways away.

On these days of cold and drear, I dream of warblers.

Previously, I started my ranking of all the North American Wood Warblers, starting with the top 14 along with an explanation on their ranking. I won't go through all the rules for ranking (you can read the previous post for them), but obviously this is a subjective list, albeit the best damn subjective list ever made.

Today I go through the next segment of warblers, you know, those that were pretty good but not good enough to sit at the cool warblers' table in school. If you want to think of a theme for this post, it is: black and yellow.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Damon's Birds for the Weeks of October 1 - November 30

Yeah, we missed posting last months monthly birds, but it would have been a bit boring anyway. I got six total for October, with most of them ones that I should have gotten earlier in the year. But November was a different story!

I won't go into stories of my adventures too much, but November was a mix of getting birds I should have gotten in the winter plus a few rare birds that I chased down, including me finally tracking down a Snowy Owl.