I and the Bird

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Cape May and Ivory-Billed Drama

Ah well I'm struggling mightily with the HTML of this goddamn blog. Blogspot has provided a great site, but the code couldn't be more confusing and difficult to edit. Ah well what can ya do. I'll keep working on it.

Update on what I'm up to. I booked a hotel for Saturday night in Marmora, NJ which I think is near Atlantic City. Awesome. My plan now is to get up early on Saturday, cruise up to Cape May and do as much birding as I can during the day and then go hit up the casinos at night. So sweet.

More importantly, the goal is to end the weekend with 200 eastern species for the year. I didn't start recording my species until 3/21/05, so I have about 3 weeks left. I've got 190. I'm thinking my pelagic will give me some easy ones at least (red-throated loon, lesser black-backed gull) and I'm hoping I'll get off the water with at least 5 new species. That means I need 5 more in 3 weeks, no small feat...but I'll just love trying.

Check out this website: fishcrow.com. This guy may or may not be hot on the trail of Ivory Billed Woodpeckers in Louisiana (all the recent hubub was over the bird in Arkansas...). The poster of the site is very convinced that he's seen IBWs, but his only 'proof' is a couple awful video clips and audio kents. So juicy. There are also a lot of people following along and either doing their best to conjure evidence where there isnt any or be skeptics and risk looking like a jerk when this dude gets some hard evidence. Drama!

District Patrol!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...
Ah yes you can almost taste it...migration time. Numerous reports of early arrivals include robins, grackles, ospreys, semipalm plovers, snipes, dunlin and red-winged blackbirds in Portsmouth, Va (3.5 hrs from DC). Good times ahead.

My nemesis
This summer when I worked as a wildlife photographer for the NY DEC I tried at least 7 times to look for Red Crossbills at the New Michigan State Forest in Pharsalia, where they were supposedly a reliable spot. Damned if the birds eluded me every time. I've resented them ever since. Well if I had a day and a couple tanks of gas I could cruise down to Highland, VA (5 solid hours from DC) and apparently see Red Crossbills with no problem on the horseshoe curve on US 250 on Shenandoah Mtn. Someday.

Unlike Fishcrow, someone has some backup...
In response to my posting to MDosprey yesterday, Mr. Wickline from DC wrote me to say that he had recently seen 2 Cooper's Hawks cavorting over 411 D Street NW. Thanks for getting my back dude. Mr. Wickline also reported seeing a woodcock after leaving a downtown metro station, a crazy sighting but one that has been common recently. I am new to the DC area but there have been more woodcock sightings that I would have expected for this time of year.
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