Late warbler push

19 10 2011

Nashville Warbler - Luke Tiller

Tuesday saw a fairly nice ‘fallout’ (for want of a better word) at Greenwich Audubon including a rather good collection of warblers (totaling eight species). As well as the expected Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers visiting birder Catherine Hamilton (blog here) and I also managed to pick up 4 or 5 Blackpolls, 1 Nashville, 1 Orange-crowned, 1 Black-throated Green (why couldn’t it have been a Townsend’s?), a handful of Common Yellowthroats including a stunning male and 1 Pine. Beyond the warblers we also had a House Wren or two and both Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireos.

Yellow-rumped Warbler - Luke Tiller

It seems to have been a fairly weak and slightly more protracted migration this year than normal, with Chimney Swifts still passing the hawkwatch last Sunday, a mid-October record of Common Nighthawk and word from Shaun Martin (a hawkwatch regular) that he had a Wood Thrush in his grandparents yard just a day or so back.

Somewhere out there are still a host of  ‘northern’ birds that haven’t arrived at the hawkwatch yet including our first Golden Eagle, or a significant push of Red-shouldered or Red-tailed Hawks. I’m hoping that they are still out there and waiting to come through in Late October and early November and keep things exciting at the watch for the final month.

Orange-crowned Warbler - Luke Tiller

Anyway here are a couple of shots from the last few days in Greenwich including a rather poor record shot of at least one of the Orange-crowneds. Lets hope there’s more interesting birds to come. Today whilst running errands in downtown Port Chester there was an interesting warbler right there in the middle of town. I didn’t have bins unfortunately but it looked like a Baypoll/Pine type (probably was that Townsend’s knowing my luck!).

HMANA Article

19 10 2011

HMANA Journal - Luke Tiller

So excited that I finally got my name in print in a reputable birding journal. I just had a rather nice piece published in ‘Hawk Migration Studies’ Volume 37, No 1. The Journal of the Hawk Migration Association of North America.

Kind of a nice story as the guys at HMANA picked up the article from my blog post about the Big Day that we had at Braddock Bay this spring. I enjoy writing a lot (although finding time and inspiration for this blog isn’t always easy) so it was really nice to realize that other people liked it too, especially as those people happened to run a really cool organization.

HMANA Journal - Luke Tiller

You can essentially read the article on my blog (here) but I would also encourage you to join HMANA as well. HMANA, as well as providing you with fantastic articles written by yours truly 😉 (beautifully illustrated by Shawn P. Carey’s stunning pictures), also run the hawkcount website (here) and provide cool online data such as the Raptor Population Index (here).

October is their fund-raising month specifically for the Hawkcount website. If you aren’t a member of the organization and you like hawks and hawkwatching (and like to scan through their information online) you should really become a member. If you are already a member of the organization maybe you want to consider a further donation to help fund the Hawkcount website and support it’s upkeep and improvement. You can find out more about the sponsorship opportunities (here).

HMANA Journal - Luke Tiller

As well as giving a shout out to HMANA I should also give a big shout out to Braddock Bay Raptor Research (website here). If I hadn’t been up at Braddock counting I would never have found the inspiration for the piece of writing. Braddock is really a miraculous place, a migration hotspot for birds of all shapes and sizes from giant Sandhill Cranes to tiny warblers.

Not only is the place amazing but the people up there are too. The whole organization is run by a fantastic group of volunteers, who use their time to invest heavily in the conservation, education message and scientific research that the organization undertakes. The rewards for their labor are the pride they have instilled in the area and the excitement their programs elicit in the local public.   You can keep up with their events on their facebook page (here).

Next year they have big plans for an expanded educational program amongst other things and I am really looking forward to going back up there to help them with that, as well as with the count. For me the educational part of hawkwatching is one of the most important aspects of carrying out a count and I am really looking forward to getting more involved in that next year.

If you want to support an excellent, small scale conservation, research and educational  organization I couldn’t find one I’d rather recommend. OK I may be a little biased but you have to trust me on this one, I certainly wouldn’t say the same for every organization I’ve worked for.