May 17, 2006

Birds: Gearing Up For Birdathon 2006

Hi everyone, sorry I haven't posted in a while. Last weekend Great Bear played a dance festival in NJ and today I've got finals in History and Economics so it's been pretty busy. I have managed to get out birding quite a bit this spring, although I have not had any luck finding the rarities that others have reported during the past few weeks (Laughing Gull, Snowy Egrets, Sandhill Crane, etc). But I can't complain really. This morning I had a life bird: Acadian Flycatcher. Sorry, no photo. Trust me, you're not missing much. There have been nesting Acadian Flycatchers at Whiskey Hollow (near Baldwinsville) for years but I've never made the time to go see them. Now I have. Check. On to more interesting birds. Actually I did see something really cool this morning... a Barred Owl! I've heard Barred Owls for years but this was the first time I've ever had a visual. The bird gave me a great look, I wish I hadn't left my camera at the bottom of the hill. Oh well. I have managed a few photos recently. Here are the highlights:

Belted Kingfisher
Mullen Road Marsh

Turkey Vulture
Pine Grove Boat Launch

Grasshopper Sparrow
Oswego County Airport / Landfill

I'll probably be spending the rest of the week gearing up for this Saturday: Birdathon 2006! Some of you may not know what the Birdathon is so here's a quick explanation. The Birdathon is an annual fundraiser for the Onondaga Audubon Society. Birders have 24 hours to find as many different species of birds as they can. Most of us are on teams of two or three, some go solo. The boundary is Region 5 - the counties of Oswego, Onondaga, Oneida, Madison, Herkimer and Cayuga north of Route 31. This will be my ninth Birdathon. Our team "The Snipers" is down to just me and long-time teammate Jay McGowan this year. Noah's ditching us to go to the contra-prom with Kailyn. Where are his priorities? Just joking Kailyn. Anyway, it's a ton of fun and we're always looking for new participants and / or donations. If you're interested in taking part in Birdathon 2006 contact our heroic competition coordinator David Wheeler by email at or by phone at (315) 373-5350. If you'd like to sponsor our team please contact me at or by phone at (315) 598-3923. Wish us luck! I'll post the details on our big day sometime next week.