Monday, May 20, 2013


I've enjoyed a wonderful couple of days back home in MA before my next trip - to Alaska on Sunday.

Between laundry, spending time with Gerri and the cats, catching up with friends, eating properly, drinking proper coffee (!) I've managed to sneak in some local birding. The Little Gull at Newburyport Harbor continued long enough for me to see it, but the Ruff (state bird) just couldn't wait.

Little Gull - a nice surprise. A bird I thought I'd miss this year.

As for summer breeders and migrants - I caught up with Black-billed Cuckoo, Whippoorwill and Blue-winged Warbler, while Canada Warbler and Least Flycatcher remained elusive.

When I return from the Pribilofs I'll be starting the summer tracking down all those migrants that I missed. Here's what I've missed so far and ideas for where I might get them:

1.  Olive-sided Flycatcher - MA?
2.  Least Flycatcher - MA?
3.  Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher - AZ (Chiricahuas)
4.  Thick-billed Kingbird - AZ (Patagonia)
5.  Bicknell's Thrush - ME?
6.  Golden-winged Warbler - Tamarac NWR, MN (thanks Liz!)
7.  Kirtland's Warbler - MI
8.  Cerulean Warbler - MA?
9.  Swainson's Warbler - ???
10. Kentucky Warbler - ???
11. Connecticut Warbler - Sax-Zim or the UP in MI
12. Mourning Warbler - MA?
13. Canada Warbler - MA?
14. Henslow's Sparrow - MN (Murphy-Hanrahan Park - thanks Hans!)
15. Saltmarsh Sparrow - MA
16. Nelson's Sparrow - ME

I'd love to hear from anyone with suggestions on the above - especially Kentucky and Swainson's.

I also need to go back to AZ for Mexican Chickadee (grrrr...), Northern Pygmy-owl and Common Poorwill which I missed last time. And I still need Sharp-tailed Grouse - which should be doable up in the UP.

So - lots still to see! And - I still haven't been to California yet, where's there's a whole bunch of new birds waiting for me. If I have time, I'd like to fit in a pelagic trip as well, sometime in June.

I should creep over 600 by the end of May, which is already 50 more than I'd ever imagined getting. Suddenly 650, or even 675, seems possible. But first - getting to Alaska...

+ + +


NEW YEAR BIRDS (4): Little Gull, Blue-winged Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Whip-poor-will.


  1. I am so impressed! Enjoy your time at home and best of luck in Alaska!

  2. From my time living in southeast Arizona, a good spot for Sulphur-bellied was just above the 1.7 mile parking area in Huachuca Canyon, on Ft. Huachuca. Of course, the Thick-billed Kingbird should be found at the Roadside Rest Area in Patagonia. I was able to get eyeshine and vocalizing from a Common Poorwill at the mouth of Miller Canyon. I'd tell you where I found Mexican Chickadee, but I doubt it will be any good still, since the Horsehoe fires have ravaged the Chiricahuas since the last time I was there.

    Hope this helps at least a little. It's been great reading about your adventures. Best of luck in the future.

    1. Thanks Bradlee!

      Just off to SE AZ now for a couple days before MN. Hoping to catch up with some of these birds - and the Buff-collared Nightjar!

  3. Baxter State Park in Maine has breeding Mourning & Canada Warblers plus Bicknell's Thrush on the Katahdin hike. That also puts you in range for the two marshland sparrows at a place like Scarborough Marsh on the Maine coast. Really enjoy reading the blog, shoot me an email if you are looking for info on any Montana species later this year.

    Andy Boyce
    Missoula, MT

    1. Thanks Andy,

      Yes - Scarborough Marsh is on my summer to do list. I've got a rough plan for Atlantic Puffin up in Maine, and the Bicknell's. Hopefully the Canada will fall in MN this week.

      Let me know if you had any luck with Spruce Grouse up in ME.

      Thanks for the feedback. Will let you know if I make it out to MT.

      - Neil

  4. I was out at Howell Woods near Smithfield, NC, earlier this week and I heard both Kentucky and Swainson's Warblers, and so have a lot of other people according to ebird checklists. I'm not sure how much longer they sing for, but as of now they are both definitely present. Another good spot for Swainson's (also Ceruleans) is along the Roanoke River south of Weldon, NC, though it isn't as easily accessible as Howell Woods.

    Just thought I might share.

    Best of Luck on the Big Year,

    Lucas Bobay
    Holly Springs, NC