Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Long Point pics

Finally, a few pics from Long point Bird Observatory. As you might imagine, i'm having a wicked time!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008


You're going to have to stick with me here, i'm far too busy to update this regularly. To sum things up, birding at Long Point is friggin brilliant. The fall (autumn) has properly got underway and we're starting to catch an average of 100 birds a day, so i'm banding plenty of exciting stuff. The highlights over the last few days have been a spanking male Connecticut Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo, several Northen Parulas, Hooded Warbler, heaps of other wood-warblers (blackpolls, bay-breasted, Magnolias, Orange-crowned etc).
A few days ago I had an epic vis-mig session here at Old Cut. I spent the entire day (0745- 1945) standing on a 2m diameter picnic table overlooking the marsh, with breaks only to fetch more beer and to help launch the boat taking supplies to The Tip, and recorded an awesome 93 species. An excellent variety of birds with lots of raptors, waders, ducks and passerines. Highlights were 19 Sharp-shinned Hawk, 16 Merlins, 9 Sandhill Cranes and 1 Red-headed Woodpecker, great stuff.
Other exciting birds have included a Whip-poor-will that we caught in the middle of the night a couple of days ago, a good haul of Northern Flickers (really cool birds to handle, if you dont mind having your fingers lacerated), the first Eastern Phoebe of the fall (they smell like fresh laundry/or, 'like spring' according to some people).
I'm still racking up the lifers and today i've recorded my 100th lifer of my trip over here, and pushed my world year list up to 726, not that i'm counting it religiously or anything sad like that.
Basically i'm having an excellent time over here and have come to the conculsion that birding on North America is heaps better than birding in England, and I don't want to ever come back.

P.S, I see all the birds I sent to my friends in Ireland made it over in one piece.

P.P.S, only joking (sort of)

Friday, September 05, 2008


After a couple of weeks at The Tip, i'm back at Old Cut for a short while. Migration has been slow to get underway but we're catching a steady trickle of birds, not much of any interest to the locals but heaps of new birds for me, i've already had 70ish lifers, and my world year list has been given a welcome boost after stagnating over the summer.
Highlight so far were 2 Willets that I found on the beach at The tip. We even managed to catch one on a midnight spotlightlighting session, and it became the 3rd ever banded at LPBO, we also got a Sanderling and a Semi-palmated Plover that night. I also banded a Sharp-shinned Hawk, which was pretty cool, and not at all bad for my 5th bird extracted from a mist net!! I even have a couple of holes in the webbing between my thumb and forefinger to remind me to to be slightly more careful next time I band a hawk, which should hopefully be pretty soon. Other interesting birds banded here (but not by me) were a Great-horned Owl that was found waterlogged in someones garden having been sprayed by a skunk it was attemtping to eat and then falling into a navigation channel after being blinded by the acrid liquid. The banding lab still stinks. Also an Eastern Screech Owl that was tap lured in one night.
Apart from awesome birds like that, i've been badning plenty of common warblers, sparrows, vireos etc,which has all been educational for when/if I ever find one back in the UK.
I've got plenty of photos of birds being banded and real birds in the field that I might get around to posting up here soon, don't hold your breath tho.

Oh and also, I completely forgot to mention how the Little Terns at Kilcoole did this year. In the end we had 74 pairs, with 130 young fledged, the 4th most succesful year at the colony since the project begun. We were all very pleased with this score, and hopefully will result in decent numbers coimg back again next year.