A Travellerspoint blog

Day 2: More Phili

all seasons in one day 62 °F

Today my family spent our day in Philadelphia.

After receiving a very generous tour of the Curtis Institute of Music which proved to once again be fabulous, my family and I went to see the Liberty Bell.
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Philadelphia really is a great city. Not only did I get a great impression from the extremely-selective Curtis Institute of Music, but I could truly picture myself living in this city as I almost feel like I'm at home already.

After bidding farewell to my dad and my sister, who are currently flying back home to Chicago because of my dad's symphony orchestra concerts, my mom and I met with one of my best friends Sebastian Beaghen for philly cheesestakes! Not only were they delicious but it was great to see him!
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So another fantastic day! Maybe some birds tomorrow, but I can't promise anything! Remember, this is technically a travel blog! :)

Good birding,

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

Posted by skwclar 17:33 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 1: The College Visits Begin

semi-overcast 45 °F

As I am a junior in high school, my family and I took advantage of this spring break to start visiting prospective colleges.

What I really think of college visits:
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:)

Anyway, after flying in, we had a good day which centered around getting a tour of the Curtis Institute of Music. It's a fantastic school!! The family had a good day even though Pearl is recovering from a fever.
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We also got to meet my second cousin Nicole for the first time which was awesome because she is super nice and we had never met her before!

More to come tomorrow! Hopefully some birds!

Good birding,

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

Posted by skwclar 18:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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)

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