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:


Monday, April 30, 2012

6 birds ahead of 12 hours ago

I'm very tired so am keeping this short but had 6 new year birds today!  They were Magnolia Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Dunlin, and Bobolink.

Tomorrow I'm birding with my good friend and expert local birder Vic.  I'll post a report from our day.


2 minutes late and a dollar short

The regular saying goes "a day late and a dollar short" but yesterday I was 2 minutes late, and I guess you could say a dollar short.  Here's the story:

My dad and I were walking our dog on the roads near our house yesterday evening at dusk when "whip-poor-will whip-poor-will whip-poor-will whip-poor-will" sounded off.  An Eastern Whip-poor-will, a new year bird!  I was ecstatic for the time being, until I remembered that EWPW would be a new "year bird", and an important one, the 100th species that I heard or saw from my yard.  I sprinted to my driveway, a 2 minute dash at most until I set foot on our property, now I could count the bird if it called again.  I waited, and waited some more.  Come on whip, just call one more time!  I waited at least 10 minutes, even played tapes, but to no avail.

Yard bird # 100 will just have to wait for another day.

Happy birding,


Sunday, April 29, 2012

38 species on my first field trip

Today I led my first field trip ever, for the Augusta Bird Club out to Riprap Trail, a trail I bird often.  Our party of 8 found 38 species on the wonderful morning.

Of the 38 species 8 were warblers.  A very surprising and nice find was a Golden-winged Warbler, both singing and giving wonderful looks!  It was a new year bird (182) for me as well as a new Augusta County bird.  It was a year bird for everyone on the trip and a life bird for one person, their 304th lifer!

I hope everyone enjoyed the trip as much as I did and GOOD BIRDING,


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Life bird: "BZZZ_zitt"

Got my second life bird of 2012 today, which puts my life list up to 469 species.  It was a Blue-winged Warbler singing "BZZZZ_zitt" on a Monticello Bird Club field trip here in Virginia today.  How super exciting!  Even without the blue-wing the walk was quite worth while with 6 additional first of year birds: Nashville Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Orchard Oriole, Grasshopper Sparrow, and White-eyed Vireo.

Tomorrow I lead my first field trip ever, out to the Riprap Trail, a location I bird often.  I will post a report on how it goes on this blog.

Happy birding,


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pec, Pec, Pec, Pectoral!

Hi all,

today I checked a couple of ponds near my house and found a sandpiper that with a little studying I narrowed down to Pectoral.  It was my second of year and the best looks I've had at one in my life.  Terrific!

Stay tuned for more news.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Sora, Baltimore Oriole, and Indigo Bunting on board

Subject birds have been added to my year list within last 30 hours.  Sora was a nice surprise.  Heard it, at a location that it was previously reported by other birders.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Yellow-throated Warbler photo

Not a great photo by any means but identifiable.

Yellow-throated Warbler 
Rivanna Trail between Pen Park and Dunlora
Charlottesville, Virginia
Saturday, April 21st, 2012
New year bird for me, and the 3rd one I've ever seen

Yellow-throated Warbler has arrived!

Today I joined fellow birder Leigh Surdukowski on her bird walk that she led for the Monticello Bird Club along the Rivanna Trail in the Pen Park area of Charlottesville.  All in all the group found 35 species highlighted by excellent looks of another spring arrival, Yellow-throated Warbler!  The YTWA was a year bird for me and only the 3rd one I've ever seen!  It was a life bird for two people on the walk.  

We also enjoyed wonderful looks of a Swamp Sparrow, and Field Sparrows.

Stay tuned for more news from me as spring progresses.


Friday, April 20, 2012

On they come..Spotted SPiper

Spent some time along 2 nice trails in Albemarle County Virginia.  Found 43 species on the one trail and 23 on the other one.
A Spotted Sandpiper was a new spring arrival for me and # 163 for the year.

Back on board

It's been a long, very long, way too long time since I've posted on this blog!  I've spent all most all of my time on the computer the last couple of months putting together the slide presentation about my 2011 Junior Big Year last year that is finally completed.  I gave the presentation at the Augusta Bird Club about a week ago and have been invited to 3 other bird clubs in Virginia.  Unfortunately while I was putting together that presentation I had almost no time to even think about this blog.  But now I do and I AM BACK ON BOARD.

Although I spend a lot of time birding, my ultimate favorite thing to do is watch and be with Bears.  I miss them in the winter when they are asleep in their dens but THEY ARE OUT NOW!  I saw my first bear a week and a half ago and 6 days ago I found a mama bear and 3 young cubs just emerged from their den.  Bears are very lethargic after they emerge and this mama bear stayed in the area for 4 days straight and I got to see her and her cubs for 4 consecutive days.  It was amazing.  I got some photos that I will post on this blog in the coming days.  I went back the fifth and sixth days but they were not to be seen.  They must have moved on.

But the birding is still awesome and this is an awesome time for it!  My "2012 year list" currently sits at 162 species.  The migrants are returning.  For the last week, I've been birding most days and have ended up with about 8 warbler species each day.  In the deep of winter you can only reliably find 2 here, Yellow-rumped and Palm.  So you get the concept, they are migrating!  And not just warblers but FOY Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Kingbird, 3 vireo species, and more have been placed on my year list in the recent times.  And I'm just waiting for that first Indigo Bunting.

So stay tuned for my news on my Wild adventure in this exciting time!