November 30, 2008

A Notoriously Pleasant Thanksgiving

Hello all. Last night Sarah, Anna and I headed out to Rochester to see our friends Notorious (Eden & Larry + Mark). It was a great dance! Eden is one of the best and certainly one of the most underrated fiddlers I've ever heard. Her command of the instrument is astounding but she's also got a great ear for improvisation and a fantastic, kick-but sense of rhythm. There are tons of good players out there in every genre but almost nobody can really, truly, successfully blend classical training with folk music. The only fiddler I can think of that comes close to matching her is Stuart Duncan. So yeah, we had a good time :-)Sarah and AnnaJim and Kat (or is it Cat? I can't remember)Tony... we're all going to miss you! Julie, Dan, Erin and KatyHope you all had a great Thanksgiving! GBT is in Ohio next week, then we'll be home for a bit more before Christmas. Enjoy the... umm... sleet I guess...

November 21, 2008

Niagara Falls

Last weekend Sarah and I went to Buffalo to see one of our favorite bands Iron & Wine. Great show! It took them a little while to find their groove but once they did it was awesome. During the day we did some birding around Niagara Falls. We located a single distant LITTLE GULL among the thousands of Bonaparte's Gulls in Queenston and an adult ICELAND GULL at Sir Adam Beck. It was my first trip to Niagara Falls since I was really little so we had a good time. On Wednesday Sarah and I went searching for a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher that had been reported near Moravia, NY and had apparently been present for over a week. Unfortunately, we did not find the bird. However, I was able to add another bird to both my year list and my life list this week. The ABA Checklist committee has now accepted Common Myna, which I saw in Florida this past spring; bringing my North American Year List to 350 and my North American Life List to 450! So... my actual life bird #450 was in fact Yellow-billed Magpie, the final climactic bird of our California trip this past September. I'm probably not going to do too much more birding this year, at least not far away. But we'll see if anything really good shows up :-)

November 12, 2008

Return to NYC

Last weekend we visited beautiful New York City. We retraced part of our trip from two years ago. This is where we got engagedThe view from Belvedere CastleIt was a great trip! The surprise ending was when we walked into our room on the last day and found... Eric Frey?!

November 11, 2008

Cave Swallows

Jared Caster and I dashed up to Fair Haven this afternoon and found at least five CAVE SWALLOWS flying around near the road into the parkSorry the photos are kind of lousy. Thanks to Bill and Joe for getting the word out! Several weeks ago I tracked down this male EURASIAN WIGEON at MontezumaMy North American 2008 Year List is currently at 348!