Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Recent Happenings

It has been a while. Nothing too exciting happening for me lately, in the bird world anyway. I've been working my way around the state of Michigan trying to clean up some year birds that I have regrettably missed while in Alaska. My first trip was to Whitefish Point where I picked up Least and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and enjoyed some shorebirds at the tip as well.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper was not hard to photograph
American Golden Plovers were running by the shack.
You had to be careful while waterbird watching. Sanderlings were running around everywhere, you could almost step on them. 
The rest of my time has been spent around the central part of the state, where Ingham was mighty nice to me, adding 2 more year birds- Scarlet Tanager and Northern Parula. This sets me at #399 for the year.

This is only part of a massive Tree Swallow flock in Ionia County. It was quite fun to enjoy.
So, whats next? I'll be going to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas from October 23-30th for a bird/butterfly ragefest. Unfortunately, none of my friends can go during this time, so I'll be raging alone. Then I go back to Alaska for the 3rd time this year to do a winter seabird observing job on a 400ft+ icebreaker. The route takes me from Seward through Unimak Pass into the Bearing Sea, and up through the Chukchi Sea, then back down to Dutch Harbor. It is a 6 week cruise. I can almost smell the Whiskered Auklets! With only a few hours of daylight each day, it will be interesting to see how surveys go.

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