Eagles in Homer – The Daily Show

13 07 2009

Some cool footage and the piece made me laugh: helms—the-eagle-has-loitered I’d love to be able to get some shots with eagles like I did with my chickadees. It does make me wonder however why people who are interested in birds and birding always seem to be completely bonkers on TV – it certainly isn’t my experience within the birding community. Not that the mayor comes across particularly well – no comment on the standard of politicians from Alaska!!!! Shame they are stopping the feeding of the birds I would think it would make for a good tourist attraction.

BwBTC Meetup – Saturday July 11

13 07 2009
The Bloggers - Luke Tiller

The Bloggers - Luke Tiller

Saturday, thanks to some cajoling from Dawn (blog here) I lead (in the loosest terms possible) a days tour of my own fair state for a group of birders who Blog Tweet and or Chirp (basically use some form of electronic communication to muse on birds and birding). It was a really fun day and a great chance to meet some people whose blogs I had read but never met in person. It really is amazing how birding, like most things in life, has been affected by the invention of the internet. Whether it be through listserves getting rare sightings out to 100’s of birders a the blink of an iPhone (ctbirding), giving birders the opportunity to contact people around the globe to discuss identifications, ask for advice on places to visit, to simply share our passion for birds (on blogs or listserves) or as happened on Saturday, to simply offer a chance to meet up with a group of random strangers who share a passion for all things feathered.

I say I was cajoled into leading the trip but actually it’s something I love to do, otherwise I’d be doing something else for a living. It’s certainly not something that you get into for the opportunity of making a vast fortune (if that had been my goal I might have let myself get headhunted by a now defunct merchant bank at 27).  It’s always a joy to show people new places and especially new birds and although we didn’t exactly set the world alight with our sightings on Saturday, the end of day haul was pretty nice with a mix of birds that were either somewhat at their northern boundary in the US (Boat-tailed Grackle, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron), at the southern end (Common Raven – 2 by the shore in Stratford), coastal specialties (Saltmarsh and Seaside Sparrows) a global rarity (Piping Plover – perhaps only 6-7000 on the planet!), and one special out of place vagrant (King Eider).

The only down side of leading is that having to keep at least half an eye on the actual birds you get less time to just natter with people, but then I guess that’s what lunch and ice-cream breaks are for! Anyway I got to meet some really nice people from as far away as New Jersey and Vermont and hopefully made a few new birding buddies both in the real and the virtual world. Check out the other blogs for some reflections on the day out.

Present on the day were:

Dawn and Jeff from Dawns Bloggy Blog

Dan from Nature Observances

Dee from Oak and the Seed

Chris from Tails of Birding

Bev from Behind the Bins

Christopher from Picus blog

Larry from The Brownstone Birding Blog

Cindy from Living in Brooklyn, Longing for Maine

Laura from Interstitial Spaces

Mark from Strack16

Catherine from Birdspot blog

We also ran into CT birders Paul Desjadins and Scott Kruitbosch. It’s always fun to hear Paul reminisce on the history of CT Birding. You may have seen a few of Scotts videos online if you a regular on CTbirds – if not check them out here.

Wilson’s Storm Petrels – Larry Flynn

13 07 2009

Just thought I’d post a couple of the fantastic Wilson’s Storm Petrel pictures that Larry Flynn sent me from his trip out from Norwalk to Stamford today. He apparently had 9 birds in total. Connecticut is notoriously embarrassingly bad for pelagic species with the shallow Long Island Sound waters far from ideal for many of these deep water specialists. Combine the fact that Long Island is in the way of most of these birds ever entering our waters and we have a situation where pelagics are usually a real rarity in the state. Nick at Shorebirder was lucky enough to see a few Wilson’s off of the New London/Orient Point Ferry last week. But considering the wealth of species being seen up in MA and over from NY it’s always a surprise to me that we don’t get a few more waifs and strays. I guess part of it is down to a lack of Sound observers (I include myself in those not doing enough of it), but I know that at least a few local birders put in a few hard hours by boat or from land looking out for these cool birds.

Anyway thanks to Larry for sending me these cool pictures and letting me use them on the blog. It’s good to know that a few people are taking time out to try and add to the seriously small amount of Shearwater, Jaeger and Petrel sightings for the state. I’m sure there is more to be found out there – it’ll just require some hard yakka (as my Australian friends might say) and a little luck.