Thursday, September 16, 2010

The birds will have to wait

My "Big Life" will have to be temporarily suspended. I am going to be an adult and start teaching middle school Earth & Space and Integrated Sciences at a local middle school. And right in the midst of fall migration too.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birding Continues

Despite my thought that I would slow down or stop after my year was over, the birds of South Florida have had other plans for me. On Tuesday, Eva and I headed down to the Everglades and picked up the super-rarity CUBAN PEWEE that had been spotted two days prior, but I''ll let her tell that day's story.

Yesterday, after a report of a female CERULEAN WARBLER at A.D. Barnes Park, I headed over and had luck finding this inconspicuous warbler. Migration is in full effect.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Guess what?

Rosana and I are going on a trip to see Eva and her parents... and I am intentionally NOT bringing my binoculars.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Crunching the year's numbers

80 different places slept at.

12 of which were campsites in my tent, for a total of 16 camping nights.

28 places I stayed at were with the wonderful people who I'd never met until I showed up at their houses. A thank you to each of them is not nearly enough.

I received a meager income from 5 random jobs throughout the year, including: independent carpentry with Devin, URI's Ryan Center, Opinion Outpost, the Sunrise School of Miami, and the Miami Science Museum.

I traveled through 31 states and 1 Canadian Province (B.C.).

467 ABA countable birds. However, there are 12 non-countables that I saw throughout the year:


So the number of wild, breeding birds in the U.S. and Canada that I observed this year was 479.

I added 167 lifers to my list, giving me a life list of 497 right now.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Big Year Complete!

The last few days, I've been scrambling around Miami-Dade and beyond looking for those final birds. My last day of the year, yesterday, proved successful.

I got to Lucky Hammock and the Annex first, seeing a WHITE-TAILED KITE at about 6:30 am, land in the hammock, and immediately fly back west, where it had come from. Ironically, this is what Eva and I were really hoping for 1 year ago today when setting out on our first of my year big day. Yesterday, I also saw several WHITE-EYED VIREO, empids, tons of EASTERN KINGBIRD and PURPLE MARTEN in the Immokalee Rd. area. I also was able to find a SOLITARY SANDPIPER east of the C-111 canal that I was looking for for my year, so well worth the early trip.

I then went to Dagney Johnson in Key Largo looking for a BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO, but didn't get to see it after a couple hours of looking (9am-11am). This bird escape me this year, but definitely not for lack of trying.

In the early afternoon, I went to Matheson Hammock to look for the KENTUCKY WARBLER, reported the evening before, but had no luck. I did see a couple WORM-EATING WARBLER, a LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, AMERICAN REDSTART, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, and NORTHERN PARULA. Warbler migration is in full swing.

In the afternoon I went up to Miami Shores with Rosana to look for a WHITE-WINGED PARAKEET. We drove around there and El Portal with no luck. We went to Starbucks there at about 4pm and got great looks at a flock of them, and then immediately noticed two RED-MASKED PARAKEET bothered by a Cooper's Hawk. Both of these were lifers for me, but only the WHITE-WINGED is ABA acceptable.

We celebrated last night up in Hollywood with some beers. I'm trying to wrap my head around the conclusion of this adventure still. I intend to put reflections, statistics, and future plans in the coming days in weeks.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Life's Ruff

Yesterday I headed down to south Dade to try to find the briefly seen female RUFF at the Cutler Wetland the evening before. Nobody had seen it since, and my one-hour search was no different. After, I headed to Lucky Hammock and the Annex to the Everglades, which proved that neotropical migrant movement had not fully begun, having only seen a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER and WHITE-EYED VIREO. On my way back up, I drove through some of the agricultural fields in Florida City, and came across a pack of 3 UPLAND SANDPIPER, which was a lifer!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vacation and Florida Oddballs

Rosana and I took a trip up to St. Augustine, the Georgia coast, Savannah, and back down to her parents house. It was a good trip that included watching ghost crabs, ropeswinging, good beering, biking, history learning, etc.

We also got a chance to look for birds, including the gregarious FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY, which we more than just saw! Additionally, we went to look for the few eastern migratory WHOOPING CRANES that have been reintroduced to Central Florida. There was one at the Double C Bar Ranch, hanging out with a bunch of SANDHILL CRANES. Quite a sight. On our way home, we stopped in Palm Beach County to look in the sod agricultural fields, looking for the recently reported UPLAND SANDPIPERS, but were unsuccessful. Now Rosana's back to school, and I am back to being an unemployed birder.