Bryan's Posts About Birdwatching
The Fog of Birding
In the rain, wind and fog on Monhegan Island today, we studied the finer points of common birds. When the winds blow strong from the south, as they have the past two days, migrating songbirds do not come to Monhegan. No worries among the group of amiable birders I am now guiding here. We’re enjoying whatever flies across our path.
A Monhegan Fallout
Today on Monhegan Island the winds blew fair with birds. Peregrine Falcons gave chase and took life. In the lilacs near the Rope Shed a Nashville Warbler cavorted with a Tennessee Warbler. A flock of a dozen Baltimore Orioles paraded around the village.
The Spineless on Monhegan
On north winds Wednesday morning the songbirds came to Monhegan – and then they left. Our gentle rain of migrants included newly arrived Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-winged Warbler (thanks to Tony Vazzano) and Cerulean Warbler, an extraordinary bird for the island. Blue Grosbeak, Lark Sparrow and Clay-colored Sparrow, the usual Monhegan oddballs, entertained the besotted birders.
To borrow an entire chapter from William Faulkner: My favorite is a fish. Even though we saw more Cape May Warblers than Yellow rumped Warblers; even though Northern Gannets are plunge-diving everywhere offshore; even though Philadelphia Vireos present themselves with such elegance; even though Philadelphia Vireos make me swoon and happy; even though a Sharp-shinned Hawk chased a Belted Kingfisher by our deck during brunch; and even though we watched a couple of Minke Whales drift past Black Head; my favorite encounter during our first day with fall migrants on Monhegan Island, Maine, was the Ocean Sunfish off White Head.
Fall Warblers on the Move
Ah, the cleansing north winds of autumn. They’re bringing us songbirds. On these cooler morning you’ll find warblers nearly anywhere.
Shorebirds, Hawks and Extinction
ON THIS LABOR DAY, you need not labor over shorebirds. As sandpipers and plovers head south this month, I’ll remind you of my Solving Shorebirds post – a guide for landlocked birdwatchers. For those of you already skilled at shorebird…
Boobies and Berries
THE BIG, BREAKING BIRDING NEWS in Vermont and New York is a Brown Booby at the Lake Champlain Bridge at Crown Point, NY. Noted for a gangly apperance, big feet and spectacular plunge-dives, Brown Boobies occasional stray north – mostly along the…
Here’s how I learned to stop worrying and start loving Brown-headed Cowbirds. An essay for Northern Woodlands magaine.
Rain, Leaves and Warblers
FROM THE RAINS this weekend there will be birds – lots of them. Spring is coming slowly this year. Here in my home city of Montpelier, Vermont, the Bloodroot, which is normally done blooming by now, still flashes its elegant…
Chasing Spring 2014 – Warblers and Woodpeckers
Chasing the spring in North Carolina and other points northbound.
In icy waters, ducks are getting hot.
Snowy Owls and Us
My essay on finding opportunity and humility in this winter’s irruption of Snowy Owls. For Aeon magazine.