A Travellerspoint blog

Florida: New Smyrna Beach Shorebirding

New Smyrna Beach, FL

all seasons in one day 45 °F

Today, the superstorm finally cleared out of Florida so that I could actually go birding on this vacation! We spent the afternoon birding local areas near New Smyrna Beach where we’re staying.







OSPREY diving for prey - very cool!

SNOWY EGRET, notice the stunning “golden slippers:”


At New Smyrna Dunes Park, an impressive flock of 500 BLACK SKIMMERS flew by, life birds for me! Very neat!

And a PALM WARBLER to end the day:

Stay tuned, because tomorrow my family and I will travel to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near the Kennedy Space Center - Merritt is arguably one of the most renowned birding hotspots in all of Florida, with many possibly life birds in store for me.

Bird-of-the-day goes to the BLACK SKIMMERS, with runner-up to the SNOWY EGRET.

Good birding,
World Life List: 935 Species (1 life bird today: Black Skimmer)

Posted by skwclar 17:29 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Sept - Dec 2017 Summary!


rain 60 °F

Hello birding friends,

Sorry I haven’t posted in quite a long time - it has been a very busy semester with college preparations, classes, music, and of course a little birding sprinkled in here and there. I will give an overall summary of the last few months, as I am finally now finding time to write this post because of Christmas break.

College prescreenings done!

The ONE birding trip I did after the bird walk season was over was a trip to the downtown lakefront to look for Snowy Owls near Montrose. First, though, I found this GREAT HORNED OWL. Unfortunately, my camera was not working so I only managed horrible iphone photos.

I did find the SNOWY OWL in Montrose Harbor - again an iphone photo!

Last but not least, a photo of my beautiful girlfriend Maddie and I after taking her to Tesla Chicago to see her favorite type of car!

Now, I am at Merritt Island, Florida for a week of vacationing with family and of course, birding! Luckily, my new P900 Coolpix camera will arrive tomorrow so I can start actually taking photos of birds again finally!

The one life bird I gained on this New Year’s Day were SANDWICH TERNS flying over the beach - luckily the apartment we are renting looks out onto the Pacific Ocean. It should be a nice week and I hope to post daily!

Good birding,

World Life List: 934 Species (1 life bird today: Sandwich Tern)

Posted by skwclar 18:52 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Wednesday Bird Walk

Oak Park, IL

rain 65 °F

Today, I led a morning bird walk starting from my house in Oak Park, IL.

It was a wet morning as we were treated to the outer remnant bands of recently-dissipated Hurricane Irma!

SWAINSON'S THRUSH abounded by the dozen - here is the most photogenic of them all as they tended to be quite elusive today:

We also saw quite a few unpictured warblers including REDSTART, MAGNOLIA, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, BAY-BREASTED, & OVENBIRD. Bird-of-the-day goes to the many Swainson's Thrush seen with runner-up to the semi-cooperative Ovenbird seen toward the end of the walk. Stay tuned!

Good birding,
World Life List: 933 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 20:04 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Evening at the Meadow

Miller Meadow Forest Preserve, IL

sunny 70 °F

Last Thursday, I led an evening bird walk for nighthawks and screech owls at Miller Meadow Forest Preserve in Maywood, IL.

We were treated to a beautiful pink sky.

Buck White-tailed Deer:

That green speck is the eyes of an EASTERN SCREECH-OWL illuminated by my flashlight! We saw two of these guys on the walk!

Bird-of-the-day goes to the screech owl with runner-up to the COMMON NIGHTHAWKS which also flew over periodically during the walk.

Good birding,
World Life List: 933 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 20:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Central Illinois: Day 3!

all seasons in one day 90 °F

Today, Isoo, Jake, Brett, Eddie, and I birded in central Illinois before heading back to Chicago. We first stopped at Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, where it was relatively birdless with only distant shorebirds and many BLUE-WINGED TEAL, including these:

Assorted "peep" sandpiper species in flight, including a WHITE-RUMPED:



We then headed over to Sand Ridge State Forest for passerine birding, where we picked up the last few new birds of the trip.




Dead juvenile Massasauga Rattlesnake, a very rare species!

Cool White-tailed Deer fawns:

Bird-of-the-day for today goes to the Blackburnian Warbler, with runner-up to the Scarlet Tanager. Bird-of-the-day for Eddie goes to the Yellow-throated Warbler he saw. The full list of species, 102 in total, seen by the group over this weekend in total is included below! Stay tuned for posts about bird walks this fall!

Good birding,

World Life List: 933 Species (no life birds today)

1. Greater White-fronted Goose
2. Canada Goose
3. Gadwall
4. Mallard
5. Blue-winged Teal
6. Northern Shoveler
7. American White Pelican
8. Double-crested Cormorant
9. Great Blue Heron
10. Great Egret
11. Turkey Vulture
12. Osprey
13. Bald Eagle
14. Cooper's Hawk
15. Red-shouldered Hawk
16. Red-tailed Hawk
17. American Kestrel
18. Merlin
19. American Coot
20. American Golden-Plover
21. Semipalmated Plover
22. Killdeer
23. Black-necked Stilt
24. Spotted Sandpiper
25. Greater Yellowlegs
26. Lesser Yellowlegs
27. Hudsonian Godwit
28. Still Sandpiper
29. Sanderling
30. Baird's Sandpiper
31. Least Sandpiper
32. White-rumped Sandpiper
33. Buff-breasted Sandpiper
34. Pectoral Sandpiper
35. Semipalmated Sandpiper
36. Short-billed Dowitcher
37. Long-billed Dowitcher
38. Wilson's Phalarope
39. Red-necked Phalarope
40. Ring-billed Gull
41. Caspian Tern
42. Black Tern
43. Rock Pigeon
44. Eurasian Collared-Dove
45. Mourning Dove
46. Yellow-billed Cuckoo
47. Barred Owl
48. Common Nighthawk
49. Chimney Swift
50. Red-headed Woodpecker
51. Red-bellied Woodpecker
52. Downy Woodpecker
53. Hairy Woodpecker
54. Northern Flicker
55. Eastern Wood-Pewee
56. Eastern Phoebe
57. Eastern Kingbird
58. Yellow-throated Vireo
59. Warbling Vireo
60. Blue Jay
61. American Crow
62. Tree Swallow
63. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
64. Cliff Swallow
65. Barn Swallow
66. Black-capped Chickadee
67. Tufted Titmouse
68. House Wren
69. Carolina Wren
70. American Robin
71. Gray Catbird
72. Brown Thrasher
73. Northern Mockingbird
74. European Starling
75. Cedar Waxwing
76. Black-and-White Warbler
77. Tennessee Warbler
78. Orange-crowned Warbler
79. Nashville Warbler
80. American Redstart
81. Cape May Warbler
82. Northern Parula
83. Magnolia Warbler
84. Bay-breasted Warbler
85. Blackburnian Warbler
86. Yellow Warbler
87. Yellow-throated Warbler
88. Black-throated Green Warbler
89. Chipping Sparrow
90. Savannah Sparrow
91. Song Sparrow
92. Northern Cardinal
93. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
94. Indigo Bunting
95. Red-winged Blackbird
96. Eastern Meadowlark
97. Brown-headed Cowbird
98. House Sparrow
99. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
100. House Finch
101. American Goldfinch
102. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Posted by skwclar 19:25 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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