Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Time for a Road Trip

     Back to birding and blogging! Dan and I have reunited to conquer birds once again with arizona as the target. It's 2 am and we are somewhere in Georgia. I mean Florida is on the way to Arizona right?? Someone get me a map quick... Oh maybe we made a wrong turn, oops. I guess Smooth Billed Ani and Flamingo will have to do while we figure out this map issue. It's going to be an all nighter to get there so I figured I'd fill everyone in on recent happenings and birds.

     Earlier this month Jeremy and I took a trip to Portland, Maine (and New Hampshire and Vermont). A certain egret was chilling there and had been for over a month. That's right I'm talking about that little one from across the pond. 14 hours and another all nighter and there is Little Egret right in the scope. 2 plumes, dark lores, and all.
     What else does Maine have to offer since we are here? How bout some sexy Roseate Tern and a sparrow that favors these salt marshes? A quick trip to Scarborough Marsh quickly netted both of these species so we were off to New Harbor and a boat trip to see puffins!! This was a little hour and a half boat trip that circled a breeding colony of puffins. Awesome, yes. We also picked out a few Arctic Terns while out there but the real surprise came when I spotted 4 Cory's Shearwaters sitting on the water! A very unusual sighting this close to land (less than 2 miles). They then proceeded to fly around the boat giving great views to the passengers, a lifer for many. Ok, now not much left iMaine. Let's head for the hills. 

     In the white mountains of New Hampshire we started to hike up Mt. Jefferson in hopes of hearing and finding a singing Bicknell's Thrush. It wasn't long until we heard some drumming and then spotted the first lifer of the day, Black-Backed Woodpecked. Point blank in the face. Bigger bird than I thought. Ok keep hiking. Higher and higher and higher. Swainsons thrushes singing everywhere and then finally, the sweet sound of a Bicknell's Thrush! Way off the path and down the mountain. Just no way to get closer and get a visual. However during that attempt and couple Boreal Chickadees decided to come see what we were up to. 

     Next stop was moose bog in northern Vermont. Targets were Spruce Grouse and Gray Jay. We got mosquitoes instead, and lots of them. I don't think I've ever been bitten more in my life. Not only are there a million mosquitoes but there are like 5 birds and none of them are the targets. Finally after 2.5 hours I hear some gray Jay action. Then boom, 4 gray jays right in the face. Deceivingly big but by far one of the cutest birds there are. That stupid Spruce Grouse was the only real dip of the whole trip. Not too bad. 12 lifers each for the 4 day blitz. 

     I promise more blog posts to come during this new and epic 2 week road trip across the country with Dan. Birds, open road, rarities, beer, and who knows what else. Going to be the craziest 2 weeks ever! Stay tuned for more tomorrow!

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