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Friday, August 27, 2021

Baby, Baby, Noisy American Goldfinches, Cute but...

 In the world of American Goldfinches now, fledglings wave wings and make their headache-producing, incessant, fledgling calls, whether or not a parent is near. I think their parents have had it, saw a male recently just fly away from a begging youngster. Eventually the young will have to fend for themselves and a few have already found the feeders. Fall will come, adults will molt into their subtle brown-gray LL Bean parkas (their feathers actually will be denser), finches will flock and some will migrate, depending on where they live. Enjoy their beauty now.

Nighthawk Watch Party, 831 Nighthawks, Wow!!

Annual Nighthawk Watch Party last night on our deck. 831 individual Common Nighthawks were detected, but the actual count was more like 760 since you need to figure in some birds flew north then south again. Big thanks to the ace counting team of Steve Lamonde, Phil Brown, and Henry Walters (the last two being hawk migration counters at Pack Monadnock Raptor Migration Observatory). I was too busy being the host to count, lol. So what could be better than a party with good friends (all fully vaccinated)? Well, that same party while just an amazing number of incredible birds flew right over our heads!! Thanks to all who participated!


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Rare Birds! Limpkin in IL, Roseate in MA!


Continuing with the theme of Florida coming north, the ABA rare bird alert recently noted a Limpkin near Hennepin, IL, and another one in Maryland for a 7th state record. MA had its first state record of a young Roseate Spoonbill and there was another roseate in CT, making number 5 for that state. I just love those roseates! You can check the ABA rare bird alert site for updates. Rare birds are exciting fun for birders, although maybe not as much fun for the rare birds who are often immature birds that must fend for themselves in new situations. On the other hand, the built-in ability for at least some members of a species to explore new areas can be an advantage if that species needs to colonize new terrain because their usual habitats have been destroyed. (my photos are from another time in FL)

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Magnificent Frigatebird, 1st State Record NH!!


Update: The frigatebird was seen this morning at the Isles of Shoals on the Maine side. People are booking trips out there.
Evidentlly, if you are in the northeast, you don't have to go to FL or the South anymore, it will come to you. Besides Roseate Spoonbills, a Magnificent Frigatebird was in NH recently and is likely still wandering around. This is a first state record for NH!! This impressive tropical seabird spends most of its time soaring effortlessly. Named frigatebird or sometimes "man-o-war bird" because it pirates food from other birds, harassing them until they regurgitate their meal. Males have red throat pouches, inflated during courtship, females and young birds have areas of white. Who knows what birds the hurricane may bring, Stay safe!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Shorebirds are migrating now!!

On the move, Semipalmated Sandpiper. The end of August is prime time for migrating shorebirds. Visit your nearest shorebird hotspots, such as coastal wildlife refuges to witness this wonderful treat. Oh, and bring your camera!


Monday, August 16, 2021

Lark Sparrow, Rare Bird in NH!!


Lark Sparrow was recently found in eastern NH evidently, its Mapquest app was not working. This is a bird that breeds in the midwest and western areas of the country. The later part of August can produce some nice rarities as most birds are post-breeding and on the move, sometimes in the wrong direction. This was a life bird for some NH birders (cool thing if you're birder, it's the first time in your life you see a species then you do a happy dance). I photographed this one on the NH coast in 2014. When you are out birding, expect the unexpected and study your field guide for what could show up. Chance favors the prepared mind.