Too Long!!

Northern Mockingbird, NJ

I know, I know, I’ve been a very bad blogger once again. But it’s not like I’ve been doing nothing. Last week was chemo and as you may have guessed, no birding would’ve gone on. This past weekend was filled with many non-birding activities. After chemo, Wednesday is usually the day I start getting back into the normal swing of things.

Also, I’ve been busy planning summer birding, etc. that will go on. I’m headed up to New Hampshire, Thursday the 24 for Bicknell’s Thrush and other boreals then down to Cape Cod for a weekend pelagic. That weekend is also the one year anniversary of my incredible trip to Maine I took last year.

July, inevitably will be slower than the other two months. It’s probably my least favorite birding month. Songbirds are finishing up their breeding cycles and are rather quiet, while shorebirds are still trickling in before the big boom that happens in August. Fall migration hasn’t really started yet either. Also, June is historically known as a better month for rarities. Hmm…..what to do……..

August has my favorite birding of all the summer months. By the beginning of the month, shorebird migration kicks into high gear and I plan to make a couple of trips to south beach to enjoy shorebird migration at its best. Then it’s off to Arizona for 10 days for the mecca of all my birding trips that will happen in 2010. We’re doing the typical AZ route stopping at many popular spots from Tucson south. More on this as we get closer.

Pulling back to the present. I read a really great book called The Big Twitch while in Cape May. It stars an Australian birder (Sean Dooley) in his quest for his holy grail-to break the Aussie Big Year Record. It was a fantastic book and was probably the first book I’ve ever read that actually made me laugh out loud! The humor was fantastic and the authors knowledge of birds and birding taught me a lot about the Australian birding scene and the birds in that area. All in all a fantastic book, rivaling Kingbird Highway in both facts and story. A great read, I recommend it highly.

Stay tuned for more bird book posts, a subject I’m really starting to get into.


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3 Responses to Too Long!!

  1. Nick Bonomo says:

    Hey Alex,

    It was great to read your account from your trip to Maine last year. Later this month I’m doing a very similar trip. My #1 target is Spruce Grouse. Anything else I’ll consider a bonus. I’ve spent precious little time in the boreal forest, so I’m really looking forward to it.

    On the other hand, I can’t wait for the second half of July. The first half is boring, but adult shorebirds will be peaking around the end of the month. I try to do as much shorebirding as I can between July 15-31…primarily because it’s peak stint time. I’ve seen a Red-necked (Milford Pt) and 2 Little Stints (South Beach, MA) during that period. Also goodies such as Sandwich Tern, Royal Tern, Brown Pelican, Ruff, and Curlew Sandpiper are possible.

    It’s amazing to think the first of the southbound shorebirds will arrive around July 4th! Every year it seems to come quicker.

    Hope to run into you soon,


    • Alex Burdo says:

      Hey Nick,

      Thanks so much. If you need any planning info, let me know. I also have a copy of the Maine Birding Trail Book by Bob Duchesne, let me know if you want to borrow it.

      When I went up last year, Spruce Grouse was the only species in the “boreal grand slam” (Gray Jay, Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee and Spruce Grouse) I missed. Bob gave me a very dependable spot I was never able to get to for the grouse: Boot Head Preserve in Lubec, said he’s seen them 5 of the last 6 times he’s visited.

      Very true, the second half is very good, also a good non-passerine rarity time, Royal Tern at the Penfield Reef last July as an example.

      I visit South Beach a lot and have always been on the lookout for something rare or unusual. Last year I had 2 Black Terns one day but the shorbs were all the expected species. Just gotta keep looking.

      Good Birding,

  2. Deanna says:

    Hi Alex,

    Congrats on the LL Bean Heroes Award! Wish Vinny and I could have been there with you. I’ve always said that you’re my personal hero–now you’re EVERYBODY’S hero. I can’t think of a more deserving person to get this great honor.

    Big hugs to you,


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