Here's the section of my website dedicated to birding. I've also added a list of birds I've seen in the Storrs/Mansfield area of Connecticut, since that's where I spend most of my time birding. Here's a link to The Connecticut State List.
So let me tell you about some recent experiences I've had. Around October 2nd or so, I decided to take a short bike ride off campus. I went off of the main road onto some side roads. At the first stop I had the typical Black-capped Chickadees. I started "pishing" and to my surprise a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker flew in. They're uncommon birds. I've seen a few, but not a lot.
Then I saw a larger bird. I thought it was a Blue Jay at first. It sat like one. Then I put my binoculars to it..:::gasp::: a Yellow-billed Cuckoo! If you've ever had experience with cuckoos you should know that they're secretive birds, rarely seen out in the open. This guy was just sitting there munching a catapillar.
I didn't see much else for the rest of that trip, but I did find some awesome trails to explore when I have time.
On October 8, 1998 I discovered a Greater White-fronted Goose in amongst a flock of about 1000+ Canada Geese.
January 2, 1999
Today was the day of our New London County Christmas Bird Count. We had an excellent day. We didn't really get anything extremely exciting. We did have one of the only two Yellow-breasted Chats on the count(a lifer!) and the only Palm Warbler of the count. The day was just all around fun. It was bitterly cold, which made it less enjoyable. We had good numbers of almost everything. When I say "we" I'm referring to my grandfather, our birding friend Glenn, a couple we hadn't met before today, and I. I leave for Southern California in a couple days. I'll have more on that later...
September 15, 1999
Well, as you can see, it's been a while since I've paid attention to this page. Not that I haven't been birdwatching, because I have. I had a very successful trip out to Southern California. I discovered that the desert is actually a very pleasent place. The most memorable moment, however, happened on my second to last day out there. My dad and I camped overnight in Joshua Tree State Park. The next morning, we woke up to a cool and dewy dawn. Our conversation proceeded thus:
Dad:We're going to try for a LeConte's Thrasher. Today will be the day! haha. Well, maybe. Here, I'm going to get the tape to the thrashers.
Me: Dad, what's that thrasher sitting on a bush over there? I think it's a LeConte's.
Lo and behold, two LeConte's Thrashers ran through the bushes near our campsite. We got great looks in the early morning sun. Quite a topper to an otherwise incredible trip.
That was back in January. Over the summer I initiated the idea for a get together of teen birders in Arizona in mid- to late July. I'm part of an email listserv called TeenBirdChat(TBC). I had never met any one of the people going on this trip before July. Anyway, the entire TBC crew turned out to be awesome. I made some great friends, had a great time, and got some great birds. I finally reached 500 life birds(Elf Owl!) and came dangerously close to breaking 500 ABA birds(499!) I have yet to get that last bird for 500.
The TBC plans to get together again in December in Texas for some awesome Christmas Bird Counts. If you're interested in joining the listserv, contact me through email(Jbird7480@hotmail.com) and I'll get you the info you need. Anyways, that's all on the birding front for now. Back to other stuff...
September 19, 1999
On a recent excursion to New Hampshire I managed to pick up a Boreal Chickadee. I finally got this elusive little tit. I went to NH in June with my family in the hopes of getting one or more of the following: Bicknell's Thrush, Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, and Black-backed Woodpecker. I found the woodpecker since there was a staked out nest hole(very nice looks at an adult male). The others remained unseen. Anyway, I'm actually not sure if the chickadee is #500 ABA or not. All of my lists seem to say something different and I'm in the process of recalculating everything. Ugh..oh well. At least it's stimulating some good birding memories. :)
September 27, 1999
This weekend I went to New Hampshire again, but this time I was with the UConn Outing Club. I really didn't get a heck of a lot of birding in, but I did pick up a Gray Jay on the top of Mt. Liberty. The jays were flying around our campsite. I put some peanuts in my hand. The jays had virtually no fear in landing on my hand and taking a couple of the peanuts. It was a great way to get a life bird. On a side note, I finally got all my lists in order and they all currently stand at 501 for the ABA and 515 for the world. I also made a new goal for myself: to get 450 birds for the year by the end of 1999. Right now, I have 403, give or take a few.
October 10, 1999
My grandfather and I birded a locally known hotspot(The Sparrow Pit). We had been there once before. It was alright then, but today was absolutely incredible. We had sparrows all over the place. Besides the regulars(Savannahs, Songs, etc) we had White-crowns, a Lincoln's Sparrow, and a Dickcissel. This was all before 9am. Quite an incredible day if you ask me. (BTW, Lincoln's Sparrow is number 502 ABA for me)