December 11, 2014

1/4 through

Busy fall in Delaware, but the semester has come to a close. The blog is not dead, though it might appear to be... I haven't been birding too much or taking many photos, but maybe that will change in the coming months. I do hope to get into some coastal birding in Boston, find a Snowy Owl, and maybe some northern specialties, as I'll be in Massachusetts starting tomorrow until the end of January.

Here's a Ruby-throated, long gone, but replaced by a few Rufous in this area.

Also, this monster, the babiest Northern Cardinal I've ever seen.

September 17, 2014

Canada bound

Not sure what's happening with this bird's mouth, some sort of growth.  This was taken back in May, while this Canada Warbler was heading north for the summer, stopping over at Forsythe, NWR.

September 13, 2014

Brewster's Warbler

After a summer of field work in coastal New Jersey I've finally started up at school at UD.  Classes are a few weeks in and the fall birding has been great so far.  Today was probably the best day of the fall in terms of warblers and we did pretty well at Middle Run, but that's not surprise.

Though not its own species, this bird was a first for me, a Brewster's Warbler.  It is the death of the Golden-winged Warbler, a hybrid between Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers.

June 28, 2014

Hatching Eggs!

Clapper Rail hatching

Seaside Sparrow hatching

Willet hatching

June 8, 2014

Sitting Tight

A Willet, one of our study species for the summer, sitting very tightly on her nest.

And the eggs.  Pointy ends usually pointing inwards.

May 16, 2014

May 15, 2014


At the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, just before leaving for NJ for the summer, I heard a crash in the leaf litter, finding this Red-tailed Hawk picking at its feet, searching for the mouse/squirrel/bird it was going after.

I don't think it actually caught anything and quickly found itself vulnerable to harassment as a Blue Jay repeatedly mobbed it.

May 12, 2014


Black-and-white Warbler at Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Boston just before my trip south to New Jersey, where I'll be living for the summer.

May 1, 2014

Yellow-fronted Canary

I happened upon a huge flock of these birds while walking around the Punchbowl (WWII vet cemetery) on my last day in Hawaii.  There were easily 250 of them and they were fairly obliging.

I presume this is a male, with bright yellow and dark black in the face.

Versus, this bird, which could be a female or a young male perhaps?

This photo shows the distinctive 'X' pattern you see on their faces if you get a look head on.

Eatin seeds eatin seeds eatin seeds.

April 24, 2014

Hooded Warbler at Boston Public Garden

I am back to birding, just about two weeks after my back surgery.  Though I did have a great time slowly meandering around the yard in western mass, seeing what I could without exerting myself too much (finding a number of yard birds), it was nice to go looking for a specific, slightly out of place, bird today.

After wandering around the garden for an hour, with little hope of finding the bird due to high winds, I spotted him on the ground feeding (with a cigarette perfectly placed for scale).

Apparently these birds do a lot tail flicking and fanning as they feed.

And as a result you get great views of the white in their tail.

A pause for breath.

It spent most of its time close to a small maintenance building, flycatching from perches, or feeding in a bush, staying clear of the wind.

April 8, 2014

Red-billed Leothrix

This stunning, clown-like bird is not well depicted in these photos, but it was a beautiful find on my last day in Hawaii.

March 19, 2014


Both on Oahu, two species of bulbul.



March 18, 2014

March 11, 2014


After our rainy adventures on Kauai, we made our way to the three day tournament on the east side of Oahu.  Great tournament, camped the whole time just off of the beach.

Needless to say, it got muddy.

March 8, 2014

Brown Booby on Kauai

Only decent shot of the Brown Booby briefly spotted.

March 3, 2014

Kilauea Point NWR

Stopping at multiple drizzly sites along the way, I made my way back around Kauai and out to Kilauea Point NWR.

A variety of seabirds nest on, in and along the cliffs of this refuge, including Red-footed Boobies, Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds, Great Frigatebirds and Laysan Albatross.

Though nesting season hasn't started yet, the Red-footed Boobies were there in force, staking claim over territories on the cliff's vegetation.

Red feet!

Great Frigatebird

There were a few Albatross flying around, but many more were on the edge of the cliffs.

February 28, 2014

Rain in the mountains

After visiting Hanalei NWR I decided to make my way around the island and up Waimea Canyon to Koke'e State Park to reach some higher elevations.  These high elevation sites include much more native vegetation and host some of the more rare endemics that can be found in Hawaii.

The drive up was beautiful.

But of course, by the time I reach my destination the rain had started and birding was not really an option.  I did scurry around in the rain until it became a downpour, spotting my one and only Apapane, a beautiful red, black and white honeycreeper.

I decided to spend the night up in the mountains, hoping rain would subside by morning.  It did not.  So I missed out on some great species and headed down hill to the coast again.  Along the way I did score some crappy pictures of these two species!

Erckel's Francolin

Nutmeg Mannikin

February 27, 2014

Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge

Not far from the treacherous Napali Coast hike I explored the Hanalei NWR.  I essentially just drove a few miles up and down a road, but was able to see most of the native waterbirds.

My first Nene/Hawaiian Goose.

Hawaiian Duck

Hawaiian Moorhen (though I think it's just called a Common Gallinule now?)

Hawaiian Stilt

Pacific Golden-plover

February 26, 2014

Napali Coast

After an initial day on Oahu, a few of us made the very quick flight to Kauai.  The plan was for everyone but me to hike the Napali Coast, camp for a night or two while I birded around the island, and meet up again before heading back to Oahu.

Things generally followed that plan, but the rain threw a wrench in everyone's plan. The hike they were doing required a few stream crossings, but as the rain kept coming, the streams turned to rivers and complicated things quite a bit.

Before the rain really came down I was able to explore a bit along the northern coast of the island.

Here I spotted my first Red-crested Cardinals.

As well as the melodious White-rumped Shama

February 23, 2014

Zebra Doves

Along with Common Myna, House Finch, House Sparrow and Spotted Dove these seemed to be the most common birds on both Oahu and Kauai.

February 21, 2014

Back from Hawaii

Eleven days gone, lots of frisbee watched, 42 species of birds seen, first time snorkeling, pounds of raw ahi eaten, but nice to be home. 

I was pretty excited to find the Oahu Amakihi on the 'Aiea Loop Trail yesterday.  They were easily heard, but it took me a while to actually see and take some crappy pictures of one.

February 9, 2014


For some reason I'm unable to add a video too, but this was a very nice bird, perched about 20-30 meters away.  One of five seen that day at plum island.

January 31, 2014

Winter Swamp

Our wintering Swamp Sparrow in Leverett.  I think it roosts in the grill.

January 26, 2014

January 6, 2014


Somehow I made it until this weekend to do my first Christmas Bird Counts.  I managed two in one weekend, doing the Pinnacles National Park count on Saturday and the Panoche Valley count on Sunday.  While Pinnacles provided more diversity, Panoche gave me looks at two species I've been hoping to see for awhile.

Here's my best look ever at a California Condor.  We ended up seeing at least five individuals, though maybe more, as we sighted a few of them on multiple occasions.

Other favorites from Pinnacles included Canyon Wren and Rufous-crowned Sparrow.

Panoche Valley views.

Before even arriving at the count I laid my eyes on two Lewis's Woodpeckers, not lifers, but it'd been almost two years!

I DID get a lifer though, MOUNTAIN PLOVERS! There were about 250 feeding on the driest of dry fields. They were a bit far away, but still great views of a bird I'd been pining to see for awhile.