My Birding Year In Photos-Part 2 (July-December)

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.

The terrific birding that I enjoyed during the first part of the year continued in the second. This Purple-throated Mountain-Gem was one of the 90 lifers I saw on a non-birding trip to Costa Rica.

Purple-throated Mountian-Gem

When I returned home I went up to South Windsor and ticked Sedge Wren.

The next day, a Royal Tern was found in my hometown of Fairfield by James Randall.

Royal Tern, Fairfield

By August, shorebird migration had kicked into high gear and I enjoyed two fantastic trips to South Beach, where I enjoyed upclose looks at huge flocks of shorebirds which included surprises like Western and White-rumped Sandpipers, Both Godwits, and Roseate Tern.

Roseate Tern, South Beach, MA

We had planned to spend the rest of the summer in Cape Cod but we abruptly left on the 21st and soonafter I am diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

I purchased my new camera days after we got home. This camera would change my birding forever and widened my opportunities even further.

Just a few days before treatment I took a trip to Jamaica Bay. We saw a bunch of fantastic shorebirds but the ultimate highlight were the two American Avocets.

American Avocets, far out, Jamaica Bay WR, NY

The same day I went to Jamaica Bay a Northern Wheatear was seen in Stratford. I went twice the next day and enjoyed fantastic looks on both visits.

Northern Wheatear, Stratford

Treatment started soonafter and my birding was delayed for a couple weeks but started again with a bang and an amazing trip to Cape May. We saw both bitterns, many warblers, including Yellow-breasted Chat, Clapper Rails, Caspian Terns, Snow Geese, among others.

Yellow-breasted Chat, Higbee Beach, Cape May

After Cape May I returned home and saw a Black Phoebe at Cove Island in Stamford. Unfortunately, it flew off and was never seen again.

That weekend I traveled to Cape Cod. Unfortunately, my pelagic was canceled but I did enjoy some good birding with the highlight being a Sora.

Treatment started back up again but I caught a break for my birthday and enjoyed some great sparrow watching which included numerous lincoln’s and two Clay-colored.

Lincoln’s Sparrow, Sherman

After a week of treatment I returned home for two weeks off. I got some fantastic birding done! I enjoyed a Hudsonian Godwit and Western Kingbird at Hammo, Saw-Whet Owl banding up in Pomfret, a fantastic trip to Staten Island where I saw Cackling Goose and Rufous Hummingbird, and many small trips through Fairfield.

Hammo Hudwit

Rufous Hummer, Staten Island

The first half of November was quiet because of treatment. I did, however accomplish my first Fairfield survey.

I got two and a half weeks off before surgery and got a ton of birding done.

I saw the Pacific Loon at Quassy Lake, did a few Fairfield Surveys, made a visit to Hammo and saw a neck-banded Canada Goose, went down to Cape May and saw an IVORY GULL, Swainson’s Hawk, and other great birds, went up to Cape Cod and saw Barrow’s Goldeneye, Little Gull and Black-legged Kittiwake, among others and lastly I returned to Staten Island and went 4 for 4 seeing Summer Tanager, Roufous Hummingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Orange-crowned Warbler.

Neck-Banded Canada Goose, Hammo

IVORY GULL, Cape May

Common Eider, Cape Cod

Ash-throated Flycatcher, Queens

The rest of December was quiet as I was recovering from surgery. However I did get out a few days after christmas and was rewarded by a Lesser Black-backed Gull in Bridgeport.

Check out part 1 and both my New and Old Photo Galleries for photos from this amazing year of birding.

So What’s In Store For 2010?I have a few targets in mind-hopefully I’ll get some if not all.

Happy New Year,

-Alex

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