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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Birders at Western Reef-Heron sighting

A celebrity rare bird

It was seen from the the bridge in New Castle near the Wentworth-By-The-Sea hotel

Don views it from near the bridge

Birders looking it up in the African field guides

We first saw it on our wedding anniversary, what a great gift for us!!

Birders looking at it from the town pier in Kittery, Maine

There we saw Alan and Barbara Delorey. Alan is the author of A Birder's Guide to New Hampshire. Barbara's vision is fine. She said she is wearing the eye patch to block off the vision in her left eye, while she looks through the scope for long periods with her right eye. Great idea. Beats holding your left eye closed for a long time.

And the award for the youngest birder to see this heron goes to Daniel who was 5 days old!!!!! His parents, Jamie and Alena (who said Daniel really did have his eyes open), said this is not only Daniel's first life bird, it is his first bird, period. What a start to his birding career. Way to go Daniel!

Birders viewing the heron from Rt. 1B in New Castle, NH, where I photographed it. That's my big lens in the middle of photo.

The possible Western-Reef Heron was was still being seen as of yesterday, August 26th, in NH. It was first spotted in Kittery, Maine on August 18th and has been seen at locations both in New Hampshire and Maine since then. We saw it over several days in both states. This is a rare bird sighting of mega-magnitude, since Western-Reef Herons have only been recorded before in North America three times, (in Nova Scotia earlier this summer, in Newfoundland in 2005 and in Nantucket in 1983). No matter what this bird turns out to be, based on the latest thoughts on taxonomy, it was a very exciting occurence for us and all the birders who came to see it.
We had so much fun sharing this event with other birders and seeing old friends, as well as meeting new people. This camraderie and excitement is one of the things that makes birding such a rewarding and addictive hobby.

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