June 23, 2010

Summer Part I: Oklahoma and Mandolins

Summer is off to a busy start. GBT returned to Oklahoma City a couple weeks ago for the Flamingo Fling. We all had a terrific time. I actually had the opportunity to assist with a bird banding session while I was out there. It was my first time actually handling wild birds; totally awesome experience and so much fun! Here I am checking out a Carolina Wren...We had a nice variety of birds in the nets: Cardinals, Orioles, Buntings, etc. The most exciting one for me was this Yellow-breasted Chat, a life bird and a long-time nemesis...I know, I can't actually count a bird taken from a net but I went out later in the morning and had them singing in the bushes and doing their ridiculous "floppy" flight thing. What a great morning! Okay, so moving along now... Noah and I were recently in NYC and while we were there we met up with our friend Margaret and went mandolin shopping at the legendary Mandolin Brothers on Staten Island. Here we are playing some tunes...Ohhh, I loved that guitar. Here are some more pics...He eventually settled on a very nice Collings MT A-model. Woohoo! So that mostly brings you up to date I think. I'm off to Ashokan Western & Swing Week in a couple days. Be good to each other everyone :-)

June 07, 2010

Get your GROOVE on...

Last weekend was the first (annual?) Great Bear Groove Dance Weekend. It was such a blast! Here are some pics...

Our dance hall, Fallbrook Lodge, is in a very scenic locationTunescape, rocking the dancersThe dancers, rocking to Tunescape Our dear friends, Callie and Linnaea (we'll miss you!)Our crazy, freaky, fiddling bear mascotBryce and Dan de-lighting a Christmas Tree for decorationsMore pics...
We are currently trying to get the hall reserved for next year; I'll let you know asap if Groove 2011 is a go. Thanks so much to everyone who came! It was an awesome weekend.

June 03, 2010

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks

Unfortunately, the trips I had planned to Fort Drum and the Adirondacks didn't end up working out so I wasn't able to add significant numbers to my month-of-May list after I got back from Long Island. I have had several good birds over the past week though. On May 28 I headed out to the Montezuma area, particularly looking for late songbird migrants on Howland Island. No luck with any of my target birds, but the 10+ singing Cerulean Warblers were a real treat. Before heading home I met Jay and Perri McGowan at the Visitor's Center and we had our bird of the day: a breeding male RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (my fifth phalarope of the month)! I can't remember if I've seen this plumage somewhere else; certainly my first for New York. We watched the bird for twenty minutes or so before it flew off. I was very happy with this find but my best bird of the month came on May 31, which also happened to be Memorial Day. Late in the afternoon I got word that 5 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS (State, Region and County Bird) had been found in Brewerton, resting on a dock on the south side of the Oneida River just west of Route 81. I raced up there at about 6:00 PM and easily found the birds; first kind of crumby looks from across the river, later beautiful looks from the lawn right next door. Jay and Tom Johnson were there when I arrived. Tom said he'd seen five Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks the previous morning near his folks house in Pennsylvania. They took off and flew north; the same birds? The Brewerton ducks flew off to the north shortly after I left at 7:00 PM and have not been refound. So for the month I ended up with 234, easily passing my goal of 225 but with lots of frustrating misses. Jay got in a couple more trips (Fort Drum and the Adirondacks) and ended with a very impressive 253! I brought my New York State list up to 317 and my North American Life List up to 530.

June 01, 2010

All the Good Summers NOW AVAILABLE!!!

I'm excited to announce that our new album...

All the Good Summers


Check it out on iTunes
or at CD Baby

Download it, Facebook it, write some comments and/or reviews, play it for your friends, request it on your local radio station, post it on your blog, call your representatives, bake it into a batch of brownies and give it to Sting next time you see him...

This video was put together by Becky Ziegler. The song is called Elinor and it features some lovely vocal work by Noah's wife Kailyn Wright.
Hope you enjoy it!