A Travellerspoint blog

Winter 2016-17: It's a Wrap!

all seasons in one day 50 °F

And this is the wrap-up post for this past winter. I also included some non-birding photos to spice it up because I have mainly been focused on my musical studies this year. So happy it's finally spring!!

As soon as I arrived back home from the Caribbean, I had 20 hours of rehearsal over the course of two days to prepare for what turned out to be a transcendent performance with Eddie Vedder right before Obama's Farewell Speech at McCormick Place.
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On January 21, my jazz ensemble toured to the Purdue University Jazz Festival where we tied for first place out of all bands from Illinois! It was great!
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In other news I saw a DOWNY WOODPECKER on that trip:
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February 12 was my annual winter recital, which was my favorite one yet!
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Throughout the semester, I have continued my Oak Park Bird Surveys where I have seen a few things, including this nice FOX SPARROW:
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KILLDEER:
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Male MALLARD:
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Male AMERICAN ROBIN:
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Male NORTHERN CARDINAL:
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COOPER'S HAWK:
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So it's been a pretty great semester - just super super busy! Stay tuned for spring migration madness, I'll try to keep up the best I can!!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 17:39 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 7: Last Day in Providenciales

semi-overcast 80 °F

On my last full day in Providenciales, my family and I visited Bight Bay, one of the fantastic beaches for snorkeling that we had visited earlier in the week. It was, once again, amazing! The highlight for me was getting to swim merely feet from a large sea turtle, so cool! It was also great to just spend time with family and enjoy the beautiful weather.

There were a few nice birds around, as well, including this male YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER:
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And this male NORTHERN PARULA:
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It was a great day.

Bird-of-the-day goes to the Yellow-throated Warbler, always a great species to see, as well as the Northern Parula, which will take its place as runner-up.

What a fantastic trip! Bird-of-the-trip goes to the Mangrove Cuckoo, and runner-up to Prairie Warbler. Both were life birds for me and allowed for truly soul-crushing views multiple times.

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 17:35 Archived in Turks/Caicos Islands Comments (0)

Day 6: Mangrove Madness

semi-overcast 80 °F

Today, my dad and I hiked to the brackish pond "salina" (or so we thought) on Providenciales that is renowned for a remarkable diversity of avian life.

Before we even got into our car on our hotel grounds, I found this YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON still hanging around from its nighttime prowling:
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GROOVE-BILLED ANIS:
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The light from the sunrise showed beautifully on this cloud formation:
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We were on the trail by 8am and the songbird birding proved to be quite worthwhile along the trail...

Very nice male BAHAMA WOODSTAR with a beautiful purple gorget:
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Male CAPE MAY WARBLER:
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After a long hike and an unbearable stretch of bush-whacking, we arrived to the pond to find very little avian life, except for these few things...

WILSON'S PLOVER:
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GREAT EGRET:
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BROWN PELICAN:
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Distant LESSER YELLOWLEGS:
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RUDDY TURNSTONES with SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS:
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Overall, it was a huge letdown from the flocks upon flocks of flamingoes and egrets I had heard about. Frustratingly, this letdown was explained to me later today when my dad showed a google map image to me that undeniably showed to me that we had mistakenly hiked to the wrong pond...it was simply a backwater collection of ocean water as opposed to the true "salina" pond that we did NOT hike to (but wanted to). As frustrating as that is, the one consolation is that the google image showed that the salina looked to be inaccessible, anyway, which at least made me feel a little better about it.

And the hike was far from not being worth it, as the "big ticket" bird of the day, an amazing MANGROVE CUCKOO, sat but ten feet away from us patiently on the hot hike back to the car, allowing for these photos:
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So the cuckoo and time with my dad made it worth it, even if the pond was a huge let-down. The rest of the day was spent relaxing at the resort and swimming and kayaking at the adjacent beautiful beach.

Bird-of-the-day goes to the Mangrove Cuckoo, with runner-up to the Bahama Woodstar. A good day!

Tomorrow will be our final full day in Providenciales, so stay tuned...

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no life birds today)

Full species list for today:

Brown Pelican
Great Egret
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
American Kestrel
Semipalmated Plover
Wilson's Plover
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Mangrove Cuckoo
Smooth-billed Ani
Bahama Woodstar
Belted Kingfisher
Mockingbird Sp.
Blue-gray Gnatcather
Thick-billed Vireo
Yellow Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Palm Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Warbler Sp.
Bananaquit
Passerine Sp.

Posted by skwclar 17:29 Archived in Turks/Caicos Islands Comments (4)

Day 5: Finally...more Providenciales!

semi-overcast 80 °F

So this is the beginning of the long overdue posts to wrap up my trip to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands over winter break (!). Sorry it has taken so long - I have had a super crazy and very exciting semester! Now I finally have time to actually post this since it is spring break, yay!!

I started off today by guiding our friends Elly & Mark on a birding tour around the nearby Northwest National Park. Although the best birds went unphotographed, a flyover AMERICAN FLAMINGO and a brief sighting of a MANGROVE CUCKOO, I did get some pictures of a few nice things.

BROWN PELICANS:
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ROYAL TERN:
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Unidentified gull or pelagic species far offshore. Any ideas as to what it is?
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RUDDY TURNSTONE:
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Hermit Crab I found:
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Later in the day, my family and I visited Malcolm Road Beach, a less-traveled beach due to the fact that the road to get there is extremely rough. It was more than worth it; however, because my parents thought it to be one of the most beautiful places they had ever seen.
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The birding around there was fairly good, as well.

PALM WARBLER:
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AMERICAN KESTRELS:
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BAHAMA WOODSTAR, awesome because these are notably uncommon on this island:
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Even the view from the road was great (notice how rough the road is, though)!
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Bird-of-the-day goes to the Bahama Woodstar, with runner-up to the Brown Pelicans which put on a good show with their awesome diving antics throughout the day. Stay tuned, because tomorrow my dad and I will be birding salt pond "salinas" which are known to host a quantity of diverse water birds - from oystercatchers to flamingoes! It should be fun!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no life birds today)

Species list for today:

Pelagic/Gull Sp.
Brown Pelican
Great Egret
American Flamingo
American Kestrel
Ruddy Turnstone
Royal Tern
Gull Sp.
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Mangrove Cuckoo
Bahama Woodstar
Bahama Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
Thick-billed Vireo
Cape May Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Palm Warbler
Warbler Sp.
Bananaquit
Passerine Sp.

Posted by skwclar 17:23 Archived in Turks/Caicos Islands Comments (1)

Day 4: Sapadillo Bay

Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands

all seasons in one day 80 °F

Today (Tuesday, January 3) was yet another fantastic day on the island of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos!

Some birding in and around Northwest Point National Park in the morning once again yielded some nice finds.

THICK-BILLED VIREO, a typical scrubland bird of the north Caribbean islands:
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Male PRAIRIE WARBLER:
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Male AMERICAN KESTREL:
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Although I was hoping it was one of the rarer dove species, this just turned out to be a MOURNING DOVE:
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SANDERLING:
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During the afternoon, we visited Sapadillo Bay, which was beautiful with water of depths of about three feet extending hundreds of yards from the shore. Although it did rain off-and-on as it sometimes does in the Caribbean, I did manage to get in a bit of birding.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD:
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ROYAL TERN:
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RUDDY TURNSTONES:
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Stunning male PRAIRIE WARBLER that posed so well for me when I "spished" it in:
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PALM WARBLER:
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GREEN HERON:
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Unidentified shorebird. Any ideas?
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Distant BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS:
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It was another great day on the island! Bird-of-the-day goes to the beautiful Prairie Warbler with runners-up to the Black-bellied Plovers, a species I seldom get the chance to see.

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no life birds today)

Posted by skwclar 05:45 Archived in Turks/Caicos Islands Tagged american_kestrel thick_billed_vireo prairie_warbler sanderling ruddy_turnstone royal_tern mourning_dove northern_mockingbird palm_warbler green_heron black-bellied_plover Comments (1)

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