Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Return From Cuba

I just returned from my third trip to Cuba as part of the ongoing migratory bird survey that has been going on there now for nearly 15 years. This very important survey helps to monitor the many songbird, wading bird, and raptor populations that use Cuba as a flyway or wintering site. As a bonus to the the many hours in the field counting North American birds are the sightings of 22 out of 23 endemic species. The only one we missed was the Zapata Rail which would have taken some incredible luck seeing as one of the Cuban authors of the Birds of Cuba has never seen one himself. If you would like to help us with next years survey, please be in touch.

(Photos: Bee Hummingbird, Zapata Sparrow, and Cuban Tody)

Long Island Birding and Sightseeing
I recently had the chance to jump across to Long Island's North Fork for some birding. The weather was so nice one day a few weeks ago, my small birding group decided to skip going to Napatree Point and make a ferry run over to Orient. The doors of the ferry opened and a fine Glaucous Gull greeted us instantly, perched like a sentry on the rooftop of the nearest building. The number of Long-tailed Ducks was impressive for near shore viewing with 400+ along with ample numbers of the three scoter species. We ended the day with a lovely sunset cruise back across the sound and a scrumptious dinner at Paul's Pasta in Groton. If you have not been, join us for our next Rhode Island or Southeast Connecticut trip as we often end up at Paul's.