Bryan's Posts About Birdwatching

One Day, Two Ross’s

AT DAWN in in the ornate village of Chambly, Quebec, at a bulge in the Richelieu River, restless gulls began to take flight. And five restless birdwatchers (many more would come later) began their search, scanning the river for an arctic ghost,…

Monhegan Report No. 7: The Fallout II

At daybreak Saturday, a gentle rain of warblers and kinglets fell on Monhegan Island. From the sea they came, most making their first migration south, blown off course and over the Atlantic, and then finding port on this tiny island to rest, feed and reorient. Another Monhegan fallout.

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. 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.

Hawkwatching Confidential

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

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…

Solving Shorebirds

A primer on shorebird identification for landlocked birdwatchers.

The Headless Shorebird Challenge

IF YOU’VE READ Solving Shorebirds, perhaps you’re ready for my Shorebird Challenge. Actually, if you’re new to plovers and sandpipers, this challenge may be difficult. That’s because bills aren’t in play in each of these six quiz photos. The challenge starts…

Orchids and Ornithology

Ruth watches a Nashville Warbler in the good company of Yellow Lady’s Slippers in Wolcott, Vermont.

Birding Vermont’s Moose Bog

Adapted from Birdwatching in Vermont by Ted Murin and Bryan Pfeiffer University Press of New England ISBN 978-1-58465-188-8 AT DAWN ON MOOSE BOG, Gray Jays float like ghosts through a dense forest of spruce and fir. Boreal Chickadees betray their hiding spots…

The Forecast Calls for Birds

By Bryan on May 22, 2013 (Revised May 7, 2014) Songbirds pouring from the skies at dawn. Thousands of hawks gliding past a mountain summit. Rare oceanic birds blown in to shore. Birdwatching like this doesn’t necessarily begin when you…