So far this summer, I have been cooped up in my office working with GIS and programming nearly everyday. And strangely, I love it. Every time I stare at my computer I am staring into a plethora of biogeographic relationships and learning more and more about the geography of South America. My progress is slow, but steady, and my pace is increasing as I learn more and become more skilled.
I have, however, had the chance to get out a few times lately. I have been working on my Douglas County list to keep me motivated to bird near home, and that has largely been successful. I have seen many great local birds around Lawrence, and even saw Indigo, Painted, and Lazuli Buntings in the area this spring. By far the best bird so far though was the first state record Hooded Oriole that visited an area north of town. Seen by many, I was able to stop by and see this wonder on my way home from work.
The first state record Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) in Lawrence, Kansas
With other birds, I have not been so lucky. A territorial Black-billed Cuckoo has eluded me every time I've searched, much to my chagrin, but other surprises have kept me going. A Bell's Vireo on campus was a nice surprise, and a while back many Black Terns were moving through the area. Now, the birds are settling in to breed, and nearly everywhere I go I hear the incessant songs of the Dickcissels.
A male Dickcissel (Spiza americana) singing at Clinton Lake in Douglas County, Kansas
I also got an opportunity to upload some of my audio recordings from my Colorado trip. The best recording, a Greater Prairie-Chicken lek in Wray, Colorado, can be heard here:
For now, it is back to work. Soon, the gears of travel will be in motion for me once again. I have just received my Cameroonian visa in the mail, and I will soon begin the convoluted trip of Kansas to California to Kansas to Colorado to Arkansas to Kansas to Belgium to Cameroon. I'll be looking forward to getting a few days in the same place before too long! That's all for now - hopefully I'll be able to post again soon.