A Travellerspoint blog

August 2017

First Fall Bird Walk!

Oak Park, IL

sunny 79 °F

On Saturday, I led the first Oak Park Bird Walk of autumn, which was a success!

Juvenile COOPER'S HAWK:
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Beautiful squirrel in the morning sun:
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Male NORTHERN CARDINAL:
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Male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH:
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Trumpet Vine:
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MOURNING DOVE:
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The highlight of the walk was seeing this male CAPE MAY WARBLER!
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Good birding! Stay tuned, because next weekend I will travel down to central Illinois with fellow young birders Isoo, Eddie, Brett, Jake, and Colin for shorebirding!

Henry Griffin
World Life List: 931 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 15:55 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The 2017 Solar Eclipse!

Eddyville, KY

all seasons in one day 92 °F

Last day of summer! :( Today, my family and I (as well as nearly all of the country, it seemed) drove almost eight hours down to the small rural town of Eddyville, Kentucky in hopes of having stellar views of the solar eclipse in totality. Southern Illinois would have been a shorter drive; however, a cloudier forecast there spurred our extra jaunt into the state of Kentucky.

We found a nice spot on a hill to have views of the event! I did not take photos of the eclipse because I figure so many people do and I just wanted to enjoy the moment.
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There were even a few birds around, including this BLACK VULTURE which is the first I have ever seen in the United States:
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A few EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES, including this individual, also graced the area:
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It was an amazing experience! Relishing in the beauty and irony of a total solar eclipse is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
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After dinner later today, we had amazing views of this wall cloud before driving through quite a rainstorm:
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Bird-of-the-day goes to the Black Vulture.

Good birding, and stay tuned! Email me at trumpetswan@comcast.net to sign up for bird walks this fall!

Henry
World Life List: 931 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 20:43 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Indiana Young Birders Symposium

Carmel, IN

semi-overcast 89 °F

Indiana Young Birders Symposium

Cool Creek Nature Preserve, Carmen, IN

On Saturday I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the Indiana Young Birders' Symposium to speak about my Oak Park Bird Walk series (email me at trumpetswan@comcast.net to make a reservation for a walk this fall) and the underlying conservation initiatives of the bird walks. Thank you to Jonathan Bontrager and his family for putting me in contact with the Indiana Young Birders about this.

We kicked off the morning with a bird walk through Cool Creek Nature Preserve!
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The only noteworthy bird seen was this unidentified Empidonax species flycatcher:
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Reflection in Cool Creek:
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The symposium was a success! Stay tuned for Oak Park Bird Walks which start next weekend, and then the following weekend over Labor Day, I will be traveling downstate with my friends Isoo, Eddie, Brett, and Jake to pursue migrant shorebirds at Chatauqua Nature Preserve. It will be a blast!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 931 Species (no life birds recently)

Posted by skwclar 20:32 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Kathleen's Nemesis Bird

Sun Valley, ID

overcast 66 °F

Yesterday, my final full day in Idaho, birder Kathleen Cameron and I rode the gondola up Mt. Baldy, famous for its winter skiing, and hiked down in hopes of finding Black-backed Woodpeckers. This bird is one I have seen here in the past and would be a life bird for Kathleen, so we had high hopes as she had been looking for this "nemesis" in the area for sixteen years!!

Amazing views from the top of the mountain:
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Male MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER:
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TOWNSEND'S WARBLER:
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HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER:
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Beautiful Douglas-Fir forest:
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AND WE FOUND IT! WE FOUND KATHLEEN'S NEMESIS BIRD, THE BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER!!!!!
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Lifer dance!
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We never saw but clearly heard a calling FLAMMULATED OWL in this patch of forest, which was a huge surprise because this species has seldom, if ever, been recorded in the Wood River Valley before!
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Juvenile STELLER'S JAY:
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Woodpecker holes in a tree:
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Mule Deer:
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DUSKY FLYCATCHER:
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Another huge highlight was this beautifully cooperative juvenile NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL which perched oh so nicely for Kathleen and me!
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AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER, yet another rare species!!!
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What a day!!! We were stoked to find all of these rare birds so close to "home!"

Stay tuned - I am the keynote speaker at the Indiana Young Birder Symposium this weekend, and I have many exciting Oak Park Bird Walks I am planning for this fall! Hope you've all had a wonderful, rejuvenating summer!

Good birding,
Henry (world Life List: 931 Species)

1. Turkey Vulture
2. Red-tailed Hawk
3. FLAMMULATED OWL
4. Northern Pygmy-Owl
5. Belted Kingfisher
6. Hairy Woodpecker
7. AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER
8. BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER
9. Northern Flicker
10. Western Wood-Pewee
11. Hammond's Flycatcher
12. Dusky Flycatcher
13. Steller's Jay
14. Clark's Nutcracker
15. Black-billed Magpie
16. Common Raven
17. Violet-green Swallow
18. Mountain Chickadee
19. Red-breasted Nuthatch
20. Brown Creeper
21. Rock Wren
22. House Wren
23. Golden-crowned Kinglet
24. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
25. Hermit Thrush
26. American Robin
27. Gray Catbird
28. Cedar Waxwing
29. Yellow-rumped Warbler
30. MacGillivray's Warbler
31. TOWNSEND'S WARBLER
32. Chipping Sparrow
33. Song Sparrow
34. Dark-eyed Junco
35. Lazuli Bunting
36. Red-winged Blackbird
37. Brewer's Blackbird
38. Bullock's Oriole
39. Cassin's Finch
40. RED CROSSBILL
41. Pine Siskin
42. American Goldfinch

Posted by skwclar 10:09 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Sawtooth Birding Adventure

Sawtooth Mountains, ID

all seasons in one day 63 °F

On Sunday, I spent an entire afternoon and evening birding with friends Poo Wright-Pulliam and Jean Seymour in the Sawtooth Range area in central Idaho. The birding was a smidge slow and we did not find our hoped-for owl species, but we did have some good sightings, best of which was an unphotographed vagrant flyover RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, a bird that shouldn't even be in Idaho!

AMERICAN DIPPER:
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Male MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD:
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Juvenile ROCK WREN:
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Golden-mantled Ground-Squirrel:
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SANDHILL CRANES in front of the Sawtooths:
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Juvenile male WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER:
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WILSON'S PHALAROPE:
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Beautiful views!
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WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE:
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BALD EAGLE:
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SWAINSON'S HAWK:
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Elk to end the day!
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A great day! Thanks so much to Poo and especially to Jean for driving and keeping us safe the entire day!

Good birding,
Henry (world Life List: 931 Species)

1. Canada Goose
2. American Wigeon
3. Mallard
4. Cinnamon Teal
5. Lesser Scaup
6. Common Merganser
7. Great Blue Heron
8. Turkey Vulture
9. Osprey
10. Bald Eagle
11. Northern Harrier
12. RED-SHOULDERED HAWK
13. Swainson's Hawk
14. Red-tailed Hawk
15. American Kestrel
16. Sandhill Crane
17. Killdeer
18. Spotted Sandpiper
19. Solitary Sandpiper
20. Western Sandpiper
21. Wilson's Phalarope
22. Great Horned Owl
23. Lewis' Woodpecker
24. Williamson's Sapsucker
25. Olive-sided Flycatcher
26. Western Wood-Pewee
27. Dusky Flycatcher
28. Warbling Vireo
29. Black-billed Magpie
30. Common Raven
31. Tree Swallow
32. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
33. Cliff Swallow
34. Barn Swallow
35. Mountain Chickadee
36. Red-breasted Nuthatch
37. Brown Creeper
38. Rock Wren
39. Mountain Bluebird
40. American Robin
41. Yellow-rumped Warbler
42. Yellow Warbler
43. Chipping Sparrow
44. Song Sparrow
45. Lincoln's Sparrow
46. White-crowned Sparrow
47. Dark-eyed Junco
48. Western Tanager
49. Brewer's Blackbird
50. Cassin's Finch
51. Pine Siskin

Posted by skwclar 10:05 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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