Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ohio bird # 306 - Spotted Towhee

Got my latest Ohio lifer on Saturday - a female Spotted Towhee up in Holmes County. Also got a Eurasian Wigeon for the year list in Newark. My year list is definitely doing better than last year - I'm up over 70 species right now, which is about 20 more than at this point last year. Of course, last year I had a newborn baby in the house which limited birding.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in review

Well, 2009 was the year of birding with baby for me. Not my top year of birding, but not too shabby considering I probably averaged getting out to seriously bird once a month, whereas in the last couple of years it was more like once a week. No major birding trips like last year as well, as I did not attend any family reunions or conferences in new birding regions for me. Here's the numbers and highlights:

Year list: 226 ABA area, 214 for Ohio
Life list: ABA area is up to 464 species.
Life birds added: ABA area-6 (Smith's Longspur, Golden-winged Warbler, Trumpeter Swan (countable in MI), Northern Wheatear, Harlequin Duck, Dovekie).
Ohio birds added: 5 (Smith's Longspur, Golden-winged Warbler, Eurasian Collared-Dove, White Ibis, Northern Wheatear)

Last year, in comparison, I had 416 ABA area birds, 277 Ohio birds, 137 life birds, and 15 Ohio birds. Of course, last year was my top year birding so far, so it's perhaps not a fair comparison...

In addition, I added 26 birds to my Massachusetts list this year through being out in the woods doing fieldwork in September and October, plus my one day of birding in December during the holidays. I also added 19 birds to my Michigan list, 7 birds to my Indiana list, and kicked off a Connecticut list with 16 birds.

My goals for the coming year are to work on my Ohio list, with my main targets being Ruffed Grouse, Little Gull, Connecticut Warbler, Cattle Egret, and Pomerine Jaeger. I'll be going to a family reunion somewhere this coming year as well, and if it's in St. Louis, I'll be going after the Eurasian Tree Sparrow for my life list. Otherwise, it's pretty much up in the air, as I have no major travel plans ahead.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Finally going birding tomorrow!

Through a combination of work and family responsibilities, I haven't really gotten out much in the last couple of months. I am finally going on an Avids trip tomorrow. Won't matter what we see, it's being out birding with friends that I'm really looking forward to.

Highlights of the last couple months:

  • I saw the Northern Wheatear that was in Holmes County (Life bird 462, Ohio bird 305!)
  • Added about 30 birds to my Massachusetts list when I spent a month working in south-central Massuchusetts
  • Twitched after a Yellow Rail in Holmes County, but missed it
  • Showed my son his first birds that he actually saw at the new Grange Insurance Audubon Center at the new metro park (American Goldfinches)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Woodpecker humor


Ohio Bird number 304 -White Ibis!

There's been a big post-breeding dispersal this summer, it seems. While not getting the rarities that Indiana has to our west, Ohio hasn't been completely overlooked: we've had two Brown Pelicans in the state (which I didn't see) and a juvenile White Ibis -which I did get to see!

The White Ibis was found in a little wetland along some old RR tracks in Guernsey County. The day it was posted to the Ohiobirds listserve, I was invited by my friend Brad to accompany him and Bill to go see it after work. I picked up Bill and we sneaked through rush hour traffic to get to Brad's house. Brad then took up driving duties and we headed off to Guernsey County. To make a long story short, we got there, saw the bird, and spent another hour birding this location, which was pretty productive - about 41 species of birds were present.

Sadly, it appears that the RR may be private property (Although not posted as such) and many people will not get the chance to see the bird.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New tripod, finally!

I've been wanting a new tripod for a while. The one that came with my Nikon is somewhat flimsy and has been missing a foot for over a year, and tends to tip over in a stiff breeze. My lovely wife has purchased for me a Manfrotto tripod - a low end model for about $130, but still a vast improvement over the current one. I hope to test it this weekend at some point - perhaps on Sunday, when I would like to do a little atlasing for the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas. There's a couple "Priority Blocks" about 50 miles north of here that aren't getting coverage, and while I don't have the time to really devote to covering them, I can at least get some observations recorded for them.

That's about all, really. Haven't had a chance to get out much, what with the current family schedule. There's a possibility I will be spending a good chunk of the fall doing archaeology around marshy areas in Massachusetts, which would have the side effect of providing good opportunities for adding to my Mass. list. And of course, I'm going to the UP this August for a week, and hope to get some good birding in then as well.

Friday, May 15, 2009

More Magee birds

I had my best day ever for bird photography last Sunday, I think. Here's a couple of the highlights:

Black-throated Green Warbler

Cape May Warbler

Tree Swallow

Nashville Warbler

Black-Throated Green Warbler