Bryan's Blog

The Adventures of a Field Biologist and Boy Explorer

Monhegan Report No. 6: Halftime Update

Despite a regular flow of northerly winds, the 2013 fall migration on Monhegan Island is off a bit compared to what I’ve experienced over the past 16 years. The fallout on Monday amounted to a soft rain of Blackpoll Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers, with sprinkles of Cape May Warblers.

Monhegan Report No. 5: The Fallout

From the heavens at dawn came warblers to Monhegan. Even before the sunrise would make them glow, before they found the trees and insects, we heard the yellow-rump’s thin “seep!,” the blackpoll’s high “tzzeet!” and the palm’s rich “sink!” – the flight sounds of a fallout on Monhegan Island. In the dim light of dawn, we stepped outside to sip coffee and listen to our day of birds approaching.

Monhegan Report No. 4: Going North

Here on Monhegan Island, during supper with Jane Curtis, now about 92, we ventured no further than the frontiers of books and art and conversation about people on a tiny island.

Monhegan Report No. 3: Moonset to Moonrise

The sea is life here on Monhegan Island. But island communities also live close to the sky. Above is the full moon setting behind Manana and the Island Inn on Thursday morning. Twelve hours later, after a day of birding and walking and visiting with friends here, Ruth and I dashed out to Burnt Head to watch the (almost) full moon rise from the ocean.

Monhegan Report No. 2: The Other Migration

On the breath of Boreas, the Greek god of the north wind, migrants blew onto Monhegan Island Tuesday morning. No fallout, but we were busy with some of the place-name warblers: Tennessee, Nashville, Cape May. South winds Wednesday produced a quiet morning.

Monhegan Island Migration Reports

Tired songbirds drop from the skies at dawn. Falcons give chase and take life. Gulls feast on table scraps. And migration mingles with the human condition. Welcome to Monhegan Island. Ten miles off Maine’s midcoast, Monhegan is a rocky outpost…

Monhegan Report No. 1: Beer and a Movie

In the gray dawn on Monhegan Island, Merlins were already on the hunt – Blue Jays in their sights. Like stunt jets, the falcons zoomed and twisted and swooped. The jays couldn’t decide whether to scold or scatter or both.

Hawkwatching Confidential

The fall hawk migration is upon is. Here’s some advice for novice hawkwatchers.

Dirty Insect Image No. 2

It spends most of its life as an egg attached to the underside of a cranberry leaf in a single spruce bog. But during its week-or-so fling as a tiny adult, the Bog Copper (Lycaena epixanthe), about the size of…

Beginner Naturalist Course

If you prefer shorebirds to shopping, flowers over Facebook, you might be a naturalist. And you should consider joining my pals at North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier for the Beginner Naturalist Mini-Course this fall. During two lectures and two field sessions,…

Montpelier Migration

By Bryan on September 8, 2013 It began on Saturday with a couple of Black-capped Chickadees in Montpelier’s Hubbard Park. In a scraggly hawthorn, which had already lost half its leaves, my morning walk then erupted into a festival of…

Monarchs Wednesday in Brookfield