Monday, March 01, 2010

Winter Highlights

I don't know if you've noticed but it's been a good winter away from New Hampshire. Today marks the beginning of "Spring" at least in the sense of New Hampshire Bird Records. In honor of this exciting turn which will hopefully bring about fewer wind storms (read more about this later in the week) and better birds in the state, I will post some photos of my "best winter birds" outside of NH. Maybe this will encourage NH to provide us birders with some of the same species within the next few months.

Eurasian Wigeon (male on the right)

While I've seen Eurasian Wigeon in the state and was the first to report a EUWI in the fall, I'd like to get one a bit closer and get some good photographs of it. Besides they are just a truly fun species to see. (Additionally, I think Mike deserves another chance at trying to see it after routinely missing it this past fall.)

King Eider (female below the top center male).

King Eider are not that difficult of a species to see within New England. However, in NH there has only been one in the past 20 months. My looks at it were dismal and unexciting. I'd like to improve upon this as its likely that King Eiders are annual in the state and probably occur around the Isles of Shoals with regularity.

Redhead (male)

I've seen Redhead in the state once - yet I didn't have a scope on me so I only got brief looks when another birder arrived and allowed me to use their scope. However, they left quickly and I kept on the bird for as long as possible with binoculars until I had to meet people nearby to show them where to look for the bird. By the time we returned the sun had gone far enough down that no one was able to see the bird. I'd like Jessie, Jordan, and Jason to get Redhead this year.

Canvasback (male)

I've seen 2 Canvasbacks in New England within the past year - both in Massachusetts. The spring before I arrived Canvasback were "everywhere" within NH. Hopefully this spring will provide an opportunity for these birds to have another good showing in the state.

Sage Thrasher

While its probably a little too late - perhaps we'll nab one of these sometime in the next few years in New Hampshire. Every New England record has practically been within sight of New Hampshire! Yet NH has yet to record one. I thought about chasing this one from Salisbury, MA across into Seabrook, NH.

Ivory Gull (adult)

Last but DEFINITELY not least... I'd love to see one of these in NH. There have been a number of Ivory Gulls around this winter. There have been birds in MA/RI, GA, and VT/NY this year. No one knows where the MA/RI bird (or birds?) has taken off to and unfortunately the Georgia bird died after an attack by a Bald Eagle. The Vermont/New York bird has been seen reliably over the past week or so by a number of birders, including Ben. I'd really like to get a good record of an Ivory Gull in NH for this century.

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