June 11, 2008

Honeymoon Birds

Sarah and I saw a lot of cool birds on our honeymoon. We traveled through NY, VT, NH and ME; our total for the trip was just over 100 species. Our first notable bird was a PEREGRINE FALCON in downtown Amsterdam on our way to Burlington. On May 29 we did some hiking in the White Mountains near Franconia, New Hampshire. We heard a very probable Bicknell's Thrush calling near the trail but never got a look at the bird so we decided not to count it (would have been a lifer). We arrived in Lubec, Maine on May 30 and I was very excited to find several BLACK GUILLEMOTS (Life Bird) off the shore of West Quoddy Head State Park. We spent several days hiking in downeast Maine; the Bold Coast trails were especially nice. Highlights included YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCER (heard and seen... finally!) and brief looks at male and female(!) BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS. On June 2 we took Andy Patterson's boat tour out to Machias Seal Island, 10 miles offshore. On the way out Sarah spotted two WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS (Life Bird) flying out over the water. We never got a great look at them but a big, white rump patch was obvious and it was the most likely species. Looking forward to getting more experience with petrels and shearwaters. Once out at the island we had tons of great looks at ARCTIC and some COMMON TERNS, RAZORBILLS, COMMON MURRES (several 'Bridled' birds) and of course ATLANTIC PUFFINS (Life Bird). We even got to land on the island to watch and photograph the birds at very close range from a blind. It was a wonderful experience. I picked up a few other year birds during the trip, bringing my total to 275.

Black Guillemot
Common Murres (with a Razorbill)
Atlantic Puffin
Arctic Tern with fish