27 April 2010

April

Well, once again I let myself go for too long without doing a post. And, once again, the stuff to report has really piled up! In early April I went to New England for spring break and met up with Andrew Spencer and Ian Davies, and briefly with Brendan Fogarty and Luke Seitz. It was a great week packed with birds that had yet to go north for the winter, and some early migrants just trickling into the northeast. In all, I got twelve life birds over the break: Monk Parakeet, Common Eider, American Black Duck, Black Scoter, King Eider (my 600th world bird!), Harlequin Duck, Snowy Owl, American Woodcock, Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Manx Shearwater, and Saltmarsh Sparrow. I will try to post some more about some specific encounters in the future, after my schedule opens up a little after finals.

Yesterday, however, I took a quick break from studying with my friend Michael Hilferty to check out the Mississippi River Levee at LSU. Amazingly, there were virtually no migrants in the woods, but we did get to see two Prothonotary Warblers in a territorial dispute. As we were leaving, though, Michael spotted two Western Kingbirds on a fence - a state bird for me and a lifer for him! As we continued down the levee, we found a group of Solitary Sandpipers and soon had another group of shorebirds fly in giving calls I had never heard before. At first I assumed that they were also Solitaries, but upon further inspection was amazed to see five Buff-breasted Sandpipers! This was a lifer for both of us, and a darn good bird to boot!

I will post more in the near future. As soon as finals let up I will have some more time. Until then, good birding!

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