A Travellerspoint blog

Coyotes and Cranes

Miller Meadow Forest Preserve, IL

semi-overcast 39 °F

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22:

This morning I led an Oak Park Bird Walk at Miller Meadow Preserve in hopes of finding migrating raptors and Sandhill Cranes. We started the walk off right with a flyover RED-TAILED HAWK:
large_DSCN2964.jpeg

Then I spotted a dark lump in the meadow — turned out to be a coyote!
large_DSCN2967.jpeg

And its mate!
large_DSCN2968.jpeglarge_DSCN2972.jpeglarge_DSCN2973.jpeg

The lighter coyote got closer and closer to the other one-
large_DSCN2978.jpeglarge_DSCN2979.jpeglarge_DSCN2981.jpeglarge_DSCN2983.jpeg

Until this happened:
large_DSCN2980.jpeg

Oh well!
large_DSCN2985.jpeglarge_DSCN2986.jpeg

Then, the expected SANDHILL CRANE migration started for the day. We ended up counting almost four hundred flying over our walk!
large_DSCN3037.jpeglarge_DSCN3036.jpeglarge_DSCN2997.jpeglarge_DSCN3029.jpeglarge_DSCN2990.jpeglarge_DSCN2987.jpeg

COOPER’S HAWK was nice:
large_DSCN2992.jpeg

And this RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER actually showed off its red belly (for once):
large_DSCN3006.jpeglarge_DSCN3005.jpeglarge_DSCN3013.jpeglarge_DSCN3015.jpeglarge_DSCN3004.jpeg

AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES:
large_DSCN3021.jpeg

Another cool flyover hawk was this RED-SHOULDERED which has more narrow tail banding:
large_DSCN3043.jpeg

And an AMERICAN KESTREL perched on its nest box to round off the raptor count for the walk!
large_DSCN3046.jpeg

Bird-of-the-day to all the Sandhill Cranes with runner-up to the Red-shouldered Hawk. Good stuff!

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List: 1172 Species

Posted by skwclar 16:30 Archived in USA Comments (3)

Quick Central Park Birding

New York, NY

semi-overcast 50 °F

Good morning and Merry Christmas! Writing this from the airport as I was supposed to fly home last night but the last flight home was cancelled so I figured I would do more blog catch up in my spare time.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11:

Finally, somewhat getting into the saturday birding tradition again, even though this weekend I found myself in NYC for yet another opera audition. Thankfully, I was able to squeeze in some beloved Central Park birding so I headed for the area of the Pinetum and the Reservoir. I was hoping for Pine Warbler and Pine Siskin which were both reported recently and decent birds for the park.

I started with a nice migrant BROWN CREEPER:
large_DSCN2868.jpeg

TURKEY VULTURE flyover:
large_DSCN2869.jpeg

And in the Pinetum, I aptly found one of my targets, a beautiful male PINE WARBLER!
large_DSCN2886.jpeglarge_DSCN2887.jpeglarge_DSCN2885.jpeglarge_DSCN2889.jpeg

WHITE-THROATED SPARROW:
large_DSCN2901.jpeg

AMERICAN COOT with a female MALLARD on the Reservoir:
large_DSCN2910.jpeg

It was a magnificent day to bird Central Park:
large_IMG_0055.jpeglarge_IMG_0062.jpeglarge_IMG_0065.jpeglarge_IMG_0056.jpeg

RUDDY DUCK:
large_DSCN2917.jpeg

GREAT BLACK-BACKED with RING-BILLED GULLS:
large_DSCN2920.jpeg

BUFFLEHEADS:
large_DSCN2925.jpeglarge_DSCN2924.jpeg

Bird-of-the-day to the Pine Warbler. No awards to the missing Pine Siskins! So great to bird in NYC again, even if briefly.

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List: 1142 Species

Posted by skwclar 09:59 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Twitching a Godwit, Shrike, and two Phalaropes!

overcast 49 °F

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4:

Still catching up on posting from an absolutely terrifically busy fall of music engagements. Saturdays used to be my weekly day out but I barely managed to keep to this tradition this semester. Thankfully, November 4 provided a window of opportunity to chase a few birds and my friend Jonathan Mott took me up on my proposal to try to find a few of these rarities.

The rarities: Hudsonian Godwit, Northern Shrike, Red Phalarope, and Red-necked Phalarope.

At our first location, the HUDSONIAN GODWIT turned out to be a drive-up bird, showing beautifully right out on the mudflats! So cool!
large_DSCN2735.jpeglarge_DSCN2736.jpeg

This BONAPARTE’S GULL was also mixed in with the larger more common species:
large_DSCN2737.jpeg

MUTE SWANS:
large_DSCN2775.jpeglarge_DSCN2756.jpeg

BUFFLEHEAD:
large_DSCN2748.jpeg

DUNLIN were also nice:
large_DSCN2762.jpeg

Our next stop was for general seawatching and we had RED-BREASTED MERGANSER:
large_DSCN2770.jpeg

And the Mute’s rarer relative, a migrant TUNDRA SWAN, another year bird for me! Very cool!
large_DSCN2779.jpeg

RED-THROATED LOONS:
large_DSCN2783.jpeg
large_DSCN2814.jpeg

And a distant COMMON LOON shown here with a HERRING GULL and another Tundra Swan:
large_DSCN2785.jpeg

Flyover GREATER SCAUP:
large_DSCN2787.jpeg

And more Dunlin:
large_DSCN2790.jpeg

And flyby LONG-TAILED DUCKS were nice:
large_DSCN2800.jpeg

Our next target bird, the NORTHERN SHRIKE, also turned out to be a drive-up bird seen from the parking lot! Super cool!
large_DSCN2847.jpeg

Unfortunately, we dipped on both Phalarope species which was a bummer because the Red would have been a lifer for Jonathan and a Northern Hemispheric lifer for me, but we had a few small consolation prizes. This SNOW BUNTING was spotted perching on the opposite pier across a wide channel:
large_DSCN2851.jpeg

Flyover PEREGRINE FALCON, a nice spot by Jonathan:
large_DSCN2861.jpeglarge_DSCN2858.jpeg

And a weird DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT perched in a tree:
large_DSCN2863.jpeg

Bird-of-the-day to the Hudsonian Godwit with runner-up to the Northern Shrike. Great to get out and thanks to Jonathan for driving!

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List: 1142 Species

Posted by skwclar 19:45 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Chautauqua & Niagara in the fall!

New York

rain 54 °F

MONDAY, OCTOBER 16:

My friend Jiabao and I hit a few sites near Chautauqua, NY today on our mini-vacation; the first of them being Lilydale, NY known for its mediums and rich mystical history. The dreary, rainy day added an especially eerie atmosphere to the mainly-deserted village.
large_IMG_9751.jpeglarge_IMG_9752.jpeglarge_IMG_9761.jpeglarge_IMG_9763.jpeglarge_IMG_9758.jpeg

Next, we headed to Chautauqua Gorge in this beautiful part of New York — the fall colors were amazing:
large_IMG_9775.jpeg

Augmented by birds of course, here is a male EASTERN BLUEBIRD:
large_DSCN2728.jpeg

CEDAR WAXWING:
large_DSCN2723.jpeg

Distant TURKEY VULTURE:
large_DSCN2731.jpeg

Visiting Chautauqua itself was great and very nostalgic for me as I spent three summers here:
large_IMG_9836.jpeg

The beloved Marlena Malas voice studio-
large_IMG_9837.jpeg
large_IMG_9793.jpeglarge_IMG_9795.jpeglarge_IMG_9783.jpeg

As usual, EUROPEAN STARLINGS abounded:
large_DSCN2730.jpeg

And there was a huge flock of mainly RING-BILLED GULLS at the vacant docks:
large_DSCN2733.jpeg

Bird-of-the-day to the Eastern Bluebird.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17:

Today it was great to visit the beautiful Niagara Falls with Jiabao!
large_9e3cdf90-7225-11ee-ae4a-73ec644282f3.jpeglarge_IMG_9852.jpeglarge_IMG_7331.jpeglarge_IMG_9910.jpeglarge_IMG_9854.jpeg

We even took the beautiful Maid of the Mist boat adventure:
large_IMG_9856.jpeglarge_IMG_9907.jpeglarge_IMG_9869.jpeglarge_IMG_7328.jpeglarge_IMG_7330.jpeglarge_IMG_9915.jpeg

Niagara is always incredible to visit, a reminder of nature’s awesomeness.

Overall, it was an enjoyable trip!

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List: 1156 Species

Posted by skwclar 04:24 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Quick stop in Buffalo!

Buffalo, NY

rain 50 °F

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15:

Well, to put it lightly, I have recently been busier than ever — as evidenced my lack of birding, and blogging. I was curious about this (since I have always been busy), and looking back on my records, to give you an idea of just how busy I have been - September is the first month I have missed posting on this blog since February 2018 (!), when I was a senior in high school and honestly a less-dedicated birder (I found my birding took on a “Renaissance” of sorts when I moved to NYC, and again during the pandemic). Among all that I am up to these days I have made some singing videos (primarily for audition purposes) but wanted to share this music with you here as well!
https://youtu.be/_FWYB1K1Yhs?si=T1Jn830hG7t38fsp
https://youtu.be/GL1oWo0-iLk?si=v6qGhlWcHlzS6r5x

Thankfully, today changed my recent dearth of birding. My friend Jiabao and I, as part of a road trip we are taking, hit Woodlawn Beach State Park in Buffalo, NY since it looked like the best hotspot along our itinerary that was open on a late sunday afternoon, and thankfully the intermittent rain throughout the day had stopped for a bit.

A bit of spishing, sure enough, brought up a number of sparrows from the swamp, including, you guessed it, SWAMP:
large_DSCN2687.jpeg

SONG:
large_DSCN2698.jpeglarge_DSCN2703.jpeglarge_DSCN2697.jpeglarge_DSCN2704.jpeg

And a nice WHITE-THROATED:
large_DSCN2689.jpeglarge_DSCN2692.jpeglarge_DSCN2691.jpeg

The surprise of the day came in the form of this first-year male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT which should be gone south well before now. Maybe it being a confused first-year bird explains this…
large_DSCN2694.jpeg

It was a bit blustery and chilly so we just had a quick stop at the beach to scan.
large_IMG_7031.jpeg

TURKEY VULTURE:
large_DSCN2712.jpeg

RING-BILLED GULLS:
large_DSCN2713.jpeg

And a HERRING:
large_DSCN2715.jpeg

Nothing else out of the ordinary so bird-of-the-day will go to the unseasonably-late Common Yellowthroat. Just great to be out in the field again, if only briefly! Stay tuned: tomorrow we will be based out of Chautauqua, NY (for my first time since Aug 2022!) and will see some sights, and hopefully some birds too.

Looking further ahead — another Sax-Zim Bog trip is starting to be in the works for after Christmas, so there are thankfully avian things to look forward to through a busy, busy fall for me!

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List:

Posted by skwclar 01:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

(Entries 16 - 20 of 1399) Previous « Page 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 .. » Next