With it only being the 13th of January, preparations are moving along pretty well for my forth coming trip to Southeast Arizona.
My hotel reservation has been made for the 5 nights I’ll be there. I made them with a reputable chain that I’ve used many times in the past, and the total price is under $300.00. For me that’s a win. It’s everything I need, a place to sleep, shower, and work on pictures and writing updates for the blog.
On January 1st. registration opened up for the Spring festival and that’s when I registered myself. Prior to finalizing the field trips I wanted to go on, I had to do some serious homework. Much like what I did before heading down to the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival 5 years ago, I wanted to make sure the field trips I choose gave me the possibility of checking off more birds.
Here’s a list of the field trips I selected.
- Huachuca Canyon and Fort
- Owls of the Huachuca Mountains
- Ramsey and Brown Canyons
- Ash and Miller Canyons
- Madera and Box Canyon
Now most of these field trip, excluding the Owl one, end late afternoon. This leaves me with hours of birding left in the day. With the sun setting just after 7 pm, I should be able to fill my time with some constructive birding. Some of the places I’m thinking about, but not written in stone are:
- Escapule wash and San Pedro River
- Hunter Canyon
- Paton Center For Hummingbirds ( this one is written in stone)
If any of my readers have any suggestions to visit other places just drop me a line in the comments section. I will get back with a reply. All help will be appreciated.
It’s been exceptionally hot across the Ohio Valley, as I’m sure it’s been in your part of the country. Temps in the middle to upper 90’s with suffocating humidity and sudden storms, add up to me as being as non-birding as it gets. As the month of August wears on and fall migration really begins to ramp up I’ll start to get out a little more often. Waders are beginning to show up at their usual haunts in some good numbers. Mostly Yellowlegs, Solitary, Pectoral, Stilt, Peeps and Plovers seem to be a good bet if you venture out. And despite the fact I’m not out birding during the hot Summer months as I would be any other time of year, I’m still pretty busy with other bird related projects.
A few years ago Jon and myself were taking the whole day and do some birding at Deer Creek State Park, which is located southwest of Columbus Ohio. It was late summer, early fall and were trudging along carrying our our spotting scopes over our shoulders with our bins around our necks. After a while one of us commented about the need for some kind of backpack device so you could just carry your scope on your back, which in turn would free up a hand, plus reduce fatigue on your shoulders.
Well after procrastinating for more than a year we’re getting one. Jon texted me a week ago and told me that his wife and mother-in-law were in England on vacation and they found Scopacs. A product manufactured in England and the perfect solution for our nagging shoulders after long days in the field. Click the link below to see how it works. I’m pretty excited about adding this to my arsenal of birding paraphernalia.
However the big news comes towards the end of the month when my wife and I go on a much needed vacation. And I’m going to a part of the country I’ve never been before. The west coast.
We’re flying in San Francisco, rent a car and point it north. Our nephew who lives north of the city will be our guide the first couple of days as I check out Point Reyes National Seashore. For 2 beautiful weeks we’ll be traveling to Redwoods and Olympic National Parks, with stops along the way to visit Portland and do a pelagic trip in the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound as we home base out of Port Angles Washington.
Somehow I feel this trip, from a birders perspective, will be right up there with my trip to the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. All new birds and plenty of them to help boost my life list closer to 500 species.
It’s a big trip with loads of planning to take care of, and field guide studying to do. However between now and then I’ll try to get in some much need birding so I can keep my skills sharp.
More to come.
With just one week remaining, I can’t hardly contain myself as my vacation nears. And is the case just like every Spring for the past 6 years I’ll make my annual pilgrimage to Lake Erie and all the hotspots for birding. These will include Metzger Marsh, Magee Marsh, particularly the boardwalk, and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. The auto tour at Ottawa is great, so if you’re ever there and it’s open, do it.
And for the second straight year my wife Kathy will be joining me. Now you need to understand that she’s not a birder, but she does appreciate them and puts up with my birding adventures. So starting Sunday morning, and ending late Wednesday afternoon it will be pretty much non-stop birding.
I’ll be updating my blog throughout my time up there, however there won’t be any pictures till I get home and download them to my home computer. And now with my new camera hopefully the pictures will be better than ever.
See you soon.
As Spring quickly approaches, some local field trips start to pop up. Granted it still might seem like Spring, however if we put our minds to it we might start to feel the warmth and birds singing.
Sunday, March 2, 2014 – 8:00 a.m. – Oxbow Field Trip
Field Trip: Spring Waterfowl Migration (More Details)
Sponsored by: Oxbow, Inc.
Sunday, March 16, 2014 – 8:00 a.m. – Brookville Lake Region
Field Trip: Waterfowl migration and more (More Details)
Sponsored by: Cincinnati Bird Club
Saturday, April 19, 2014 – 8:00 a.m. – Oxbow Field Trip
Field Trip: Spring Migration (More Details)
Sponsored by: Oxbow, Inc.
Friday, May 9, 2014 – 5:00 p.m. – Annual Birdathon
Field Trip: Annual Birdathon – count species for 24 hours (More Details)
Sponsored by: Oxbow, Inc.
As everyone knows tis the season for Christmas Bird Counts all across this U.S.A. And the one I’m participating in is tomorrow, so it will be another bright an early morning. So more to come on this great event.
And as we wind down 2013 my thought turn to what will become another annual event, The January 100 Species Challenge. Last year it turned into more of a challenge that I had anticipated, just making 100 species by the skin of my teeth. This year however I start January with 2 weeks vacation so I can devote more time to the challenge. And just like last year I will be keeping you up to date on all birds added to the January list.
So as I sign off I wish everyone of my fellow readers to have a happy New Year, and keep on birding.
As most everyone knows the last Passenger Pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1st, 1914. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of this extinct species local wildlife artist John Ruthven has painted a beautiful portrait of “Martha”, the last Passenger Pigeon.
However there is more to this picture than just “Martha”. As you will see in the next piture, “Martha” is leading a massive flock of Passenger Pigeons as they fly over the avian houses that once stood at the Cincinnati Zoo. The only one left is the one where “Martha” was housed.
That’s the artist himself, 88 year old John Ruthven, whom many consider the modern day Audubon.
And when the mural is completed it will look like this. The building, which is lucky enough to have it painted on it’s side, is located at 8th and Vine St. in downtown Cincinnati. The date of the mural’s dedication is yet to be announced, but it will be in the month of September.
I may not be there for the official, but I will visit this site to check out this beautiful mural.