Every year I do a report titled, “State of My Birding.” That won’t be out for a couple weeks, so meanwhile enjoy this set of photos from my wonderful year of birding.
Note:All these shots were taken with my old camera. Enlarge for bigger versions. Enjoy!
I was excited for the opportunity for a lot of birding going into 2009. My birding picked up early, with a Cape Cod trip on New Years Day. I continued to bird the Cape for the next few days. When I returned to CT I got some Fairfield birding done, and then went afield, to Hammo where I ticked Iceland Gull and Rough-legged Hawk. The Iceland was the first of many Iceland and Glaucous Gulls I’d see that winter. It was present at Meig’s Point, a new bird for me I enjoyed some great looks at it.
The latter part of January included an owl walk in Pomfret (great looks at Eastern Sreech and Long-eared) and a day trip up to Royalston, MA.
February started off with a bang as February 7th was a day to remember. Highlights included Glaucous Gull, Rough-legged Hawk, White-winged and Red Crossbills, American Bittern, and Bald Eagle.
The next week I birded Long Beach and Greenwich Point Park and found large flocks of Brant at both locations, plus a Lapland Longspur at Long Beach.
Later in the month my family took a skiing trip to Vermont. The highlight of my birding up there was a large flock of Bohemian Waxwings that allowed great looks and photo ops.
Greg Hanisek discovered a wild-type Graylag Goose in Wallingford and I jumped at the opportunity to chase it. This would be the first of many goose chases, throughout the year.
Skipping ahead to March and a fantastic trip to Florida. I enjoyed seeing great birds such as Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Eastern Meadowlark, Yellow-throated Warbler, Bachman’s Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Stilt Sandpiper, Cattle Egret, Burrowing Owl and Black-necked Stilt, plus an amazing visit to a heron rookery.
The goose fever hadn’t left me when I returned home and I went up to Horsebarn Hill in Storrs and saw both Snow and Greater White-fronted Geese.
A few days later I took a trip to Long Island with the highlights being Ross’s Goose, Ruddy Duck, Redhead, Northern Gannet and Razorbill.
April continued the good birding with a punch of fantastic rarities.
The first of two amazing rarities was a Yellow-headed Blackbird in Milford, found by Stacy Hanks.
The second was a Western Meadowlark at Sherwood Island found by Tina Green. Besides the meadowlark a Whimbrel and 3 Great Horned Owls were present.
May began with another amazing trip to Florida. The highlights included: Cape May Warbler, Reddish Egret, Wilson’s Plover, Common Ground Dove, FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY, Gray Kingbird, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Purple Gallinule and Sandhill Crane.
May had a fantastic Passerine migration and I was delighted by the amount of warblers passing through.
I wasn’t able to get much birding done in the beginning of June, as studying for final exams at school took up a lot of my time. However, I was able to sneak in a trip to the Sterling Forest, with many Golden-winged Warblers being the highlight.
The rest of June was also very busy but I did enjoy an amazing trip up to Maine. Atlantic Puffin, Black-backed Woodpecker, and Black Tern were among the many highlights.
Stay tuned for Part 2 which will be posted soon!