Current 2012 year total of bird species:

211 (most recent addition: Dickcissel, June 2 2012)

Life bird total:

470 (most recent edition: Black Rail, June 2 2012)

2012 Black Bear count:


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book reading trip

In case anyone's interested, my book reading to the kindergarten class went great.  I was hoping to see some birds along the way and I did not fail to do that.  I found lots of hawks, mostly red-tails but a couple of kestrels and a Red-shouldered Hawk or two.  I also found 2 Mute Swans, they were at a pond at a vineyard so they were most likely domesticated but still an interesting find.

To start out February, I'll go birding for several hours tomorrow.  I'll post if I find anything interesting.


"Oh No, Gertrude!"

In 2010 I wrote a book called "Oh No, Gertrude!" accompanied by Rodney Cammauf's excellent photographs.  It is about a mama bear named Gertrude and her 3 bear cubs to help keep bears safe.  It is being carried by a number of national parks and I have sold over 2,000 copies.  Please visit the "Oh No, Gertrude!" website:

I am heading off now to do a book reading for the book at a Kindergarten Class in Orange, Virginia.  Maybe I'll see some birds along the way!

That's about it for now.


Monday, January 30, 2012

January 2012 birds

Hello there!

This is my first post on my blog, I started blogging early in 2011 to cover my "Junior Big Year" from that year.  To view that blog, please visit

Now that my Big Year is done I will keep this blog up to date and will cover my birding adventures and also bear viewing, and any other wild things that I do.   I will plan to post every week or when I have a great day/great sighting.

As January 2012 comes to a close, let me reflect on that month a little bit.  Birding was my main focus this past month as the bears are asleep in their dens, the bucks have lost their antlers so the birds are the best right now.

I'm keeping a "year list" of all the birds I see and I have 86 so far for 2012.  Most recent additions were Black-crowned Night Heron at a local pond in Waynesboro, Virginia and Ruddy Duck at a pond in Crozet Virginia, both this past Saturday.  Some highlights from January 2012 include a Lark Sparrow, a rare visitor to Virginia that has been hanging around locally in Augusta County all of January.  Yesterday a second Lark Sparrow was confirmed by me at the location where the one has been seen for a long time.  Other notables include Cackling Geese, and Rough-legged Hawk in Augusta County and Golden Eagle in nearby Highland County.  The Rough-legged Hawk in Augusta County is an over-wintering bird that has returned to a certain road for several winters.

Also, I have guided several people around Augusta County and gotten them notable birds and even life birds.  If any of you are ever in Augusta County I would be happy to guide you around if we can pick a day that's free on my schedule and yours.  Good birding!