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millipede

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Everything posted by millipede

  1. Is moose bog well labeled? I have the coordinates and it looks like I should be able to figure it out... but I've been to some hotspots that if you didn't already know where they were, you'd miss them. One locally is at the end of a farm road that leads to chicken houses. WAY back from the main road, next to those chicken houses, is a sign... but not at the main road.
  2. No worries. I'll ask some random people on facebook and if I don't get a lot of info there, I'll just call the VT parks... Having some trouble considering the little egret. We looked one year, two days in a row as we passed through that area to go to a puffin tour. I can't make a LOT of LONG birding trips but it seems that the bird, when it's there, moves a lot. Sometimes a few miles away. So I could go there and sit and wait... and wait... and wait... and miss out, yet again. Not to mention the distance. From my mom's to the marsh just south of Portland is about 1hr30m. Gilsland is another 10 minutes or so further. Do I make a special trip for that? Get up early one morning and drive up there and HOPE for the best??? Or an extra long drive back from moose bog down through the portland area? Or, forget the egret? hmmm... decisions. 😞
  3. @The Bird Nuts, do you know anything about Brighton State Park? Seems to be the closest place to camp near Moose Bog. Looks okay so far. I may just have to call the VT parks department, or ask strangers on facebook about it as it seems a popular camping place. There are comments on the facebook page from recent campers so I can get some insight there I'm sure. Wondering a few things... 1. Does it cost to camp/tent there? 2. How's the swimming temps, last half of August... hmmm 3. Firewood easy to come by or for sale? 4. How popular is it? I don't want to rent a tent site(provided it costs) too far ahead of time as I'll want to go during good weather and I wont know the weather til it's closer to the date. I also don't want to just show up assuming there's a spot to find it full. I think what I might do is try and head up there early enough to have some good daylight and do some light birding at moose bog with the whole family so they can all experience at least some of the birds. Then head over to a camp site, setup camp, relax, perhaps swim(if it isn't TOOOO cold), etc... then get up early and take one or two kids back to the bog for a little heavier birding before packing up camp and heading back to MA.
  4. Thanks... I guess we'll see what happens. UPDATE: So, I'm working on three parts to this trip and each one has to be perfect to not make it tooooooo long and not overwhelm anyone. The drive there, the drive back, and the trips to make while there. I THINK I have the drive their planned fairly well but I'll list a few spots and hope for some clarity on some. If you know any of the areas enough to be of help, please let me know. If you know anyone on the board that can advise me on particular state/locations please tag them or something. Thanks. MOST of these stops are based mostly on finding anything that's near the roads we'll be on. Missouri: We'll be stopping at Davidson Memorial Wildlife Area on Sappington RD in St Louis to pick up some eurasian tree sparrows. Not a life bird for my daughter or I but had to get a list in while passing through MO and this will do. Will be a life bird for my son and anyone else in the family that's interested. We have Jefferson Barracks Park on the list as a backup in case we strike out there. Illinois: Tempted to visit some really cool spots but it would mostly be birds we'd seen before and I don't want to go too far out of the way just to find birds I've seen before. 😞 So we're just stopping at a rest stop to do some birding there. Indiana: Sodalis Nature Park in Plainfield. Don't expect anything spectacular but looks like a nice relaxing spot not far from the highway. Originally wanted to stop at goose pond but decided that would be further from the hwy than I wanted. Ohio: (Help needed) Battle Darby Creek Metro Park in Galloway. It's a BIG place and I can't spend HOURS there, sadly. On the eBird charts for August, some needs that are found there include: Ring-necked pheasant, common gallinule, and henslow's sparrow. The first two are definitely something we'd like to find but could use direction. If we have any OH members that might have suggestions that would be helpful. Or else I might be able to contact an audubon chapter in that area to help plan a stop there. Pennsylvania: Just the welcome center on I-90 near Erie. I imagine there's some good spots nearby but most of my stops are going to be short unless there's some BIG needs to fill in the area. New York: (Help needed) Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in Seneca Falls. According to charts there, the area could be good for: Common gallinule, virginia rail, american bittern, least bittern, sandhill crane. The latter being the most exciting by far. There are enough reports of them there I'm hoping they'll be easy to find. I (not my daughter though) have an american bittern on my list but the rest would all be life birds. This place is ENORMOUS so I'd need some direction so I don't spend a day there. Kind of stinks not being able to spend TOO much time in such a wonderful place but the longer I take to get to Massachusetts, the less time we have with family. I'm okay with that but, I'm the only one. HA. Massachusetts: (possible help needed?) Looking at the maps of I-90 across western MA, I don't see a lot of exits. This means that any spots that could be good for birding could end up a LONG drive from the highway. Unless someone knows something in the western half of the state(I've never birded out that way) I'll probably just stop at one of several service areas along the pike. Not a big deal. I plan on making any stop in that area brief as I'll be VERY anxious to get to our destination by this point. Okay, so I think I have most of that all planned... Soon I'll be working on the stops in New England and then the drive home. Oh, that reminds me. We've done plum island in the past and we love it there. Would be even better if I could get a spot at the end so my family can swim somewhere without the massive undertow... But, I'm not sure that's going to be THE best place for birding for me this time. I'm sure there are birds there that we didn't see that I could still find so, maybe. I guess I'll have to spend some serious time looking at the hotspots on eBird and see what I want to chase. I feel like the oystercatcher is a MUST find this year. Maybe I'll plan around that bird and see what kind of locations I come up with that will probably have some other good ones for us. I think planning the actual trip destinations during the stay will be my next step, and then I'll work on the drive home. phew...
  5. I'll have to explore what birds are seen there and see how many of them are NEEDS... But I may just add to my trip home(not so fun) and swing further south as it looks like there's a LOT of stilts in the memphis area. Decisions decisions... This is going to be a crazy trip I believe. This planning is giving me a headache but will allow me to get the most in with ease.
  6. 😮 If I can keep that a secret from my daughter, and the fact that there'd be canada jays in the first place... she'd go nuts. Recommendations for food? Sunflower seeds in or out of the shell? peanuts? Anyone on here from Indiana and perhaps know Goose pond? It's a little off my trip but looks like it could be worth a stop. The problem is knowing exactly where to go. There's a PILE of hotspots all in the same location... But the one that has THE most birds listed is the one that is labeled suggesting people to use other hotspots. HA This is the actual name of the hotspot: Goose Pond FWA (Please consider using a more specific location.) The birds listed there make me think I need to go ahead and go off the highway a bit... hmmm... maybe... maybe not. The list looks awesome but, it's literally an hour from the highway I'll be on... an our off, an hour back on... that's 2 hours added to the trip not counting time to bird. I may have to skip that one even though something like black-necked stilts would be great. Stopping, even just a little, in each state is going to add a significant amount of time already. To add 2+ more hours... hmmm... not sure I should do that.
  7. and there were a few bicknell's thrushes there last august. I think moose bog might be a winner... just have to go look at some maps and see where a family can camp.
  8. moose bog is looking even better so far. How did I scan past canada jay on that list? I think I might be trying to plan this trip without telling my daughter the birds we'll be after. Some places we pass through(states) I'll just pick a random stop and not care what birds I get. When we take the most direct route, without birding, it's somewhere around a 24 hour drive. Add in detours, bathroom breaks(there's 7 of us), etc... it adds up to extra hours quickly.
  9. I'm still thinking on the route. So far I think I'll hit one or two spots on the way to Mass... we'll see. Goose Pond in Indiana looks like a good spot for several birds including black-necked stilts, something my daughter still needs. It's a little off the route but not too far and so far looks like it could be a great spot. Then Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge right at i-90 in New York looks like a MUST see for some common gallinules and more. I can't do tooooooo many REAL birding stops as it's a family vacation and I can't be cruel to all the non-birders.(especially my wife) Then in New England I'll plan just a couple of actual events like a trip to plum island and perhaps(if it's a good spot) the spot mentioned in VT. At some point I'll likely look at individual species and compare where they might be found. All that to say... by the time we're headed home I don't know how serious I'm going to be. I want to hit lots of spots partially to fill in my eBird map. Real important right? HA. It will be about the 30th of August, I think, when I'd be passing through the NJ area. My plan is mostly to just stop at decent hotspots that are CLOSE to the main routes to be able to go in, do some decent counting, and get on my way. BUT... IF you can think of some must see birds that wont be too far out of the way or take hours to find, I'd love to hear about them. There's only a few migratory warblers that would be lifers for me, I think, so migration not being in full swing isn't a huge issue. Anything reliable and is interesting enough compared to what I might normally find in Arkansas, or every day backyard birds of Massachusetts, then it might be worth a stop somewhere. I hope all that rambling made sense. IF I pass through the DC area it would be on the outskirts somewhere and not through the middle. The idea of filling in yet another spot on the map is my main motivation but if it will be THAT bad, I can avoid it. When I mentioned DC to my wife she got excited. Then I told her I didn't plan on visiting the sites. Saw them all summer after 8th grade... it's a bunch of interesting buildings, yay. ha... anyway, not worth all the headache of going through a very busy city.... at least not to me. I'll take a look at that and consider how much time that would add. If it doesn't add much time for driving and any stops could be short(by birding standards) it could be fun. But it's a long enough drive already, I really don't want to go overboard. I only mentioned ones I saw on the list for the location mentioned in VT. Those would all be great birds but I don't quite have a list of "this is what I want to see on the trip." HA... well the bar charts for that location look good. I wont be birding much of NY, just anything close to my path on I-90 through the state. So far I have one good stop planned and I might not stray from that. Upstate, way upstate, is probably out. That's 5 hours or more from my mom's place. VT, NH, and parts of ME are all open possibilities as long as I don't try to plan multiple trips. I'll likely plan one overnight somewhere up there and just pick a place that has the most potential for some interesting stuff. Canada Jay would be awesome... almost wish you didn't bring up the place in NY. HA. A goshawk would be cool. And a bicknell's thrush? Depending on where in NH that might be doable. I'll slowly be comparing hotspots and just birds in general and look for where I can find the most new and exciting stuff in the fewest trips. I'll be in the northeast ALMOST 2 weeks but can't spend more than a few days of that actually birding. Got a wife and kids and then the rest of my family, and my wife's, that will want to spend time with us. My oldest daughter would LOVE filling in her life list but we'll just do our best with the time we have. phew... anyone able to send a few birds to my location while I'm there? Some other woodpeckers we don't get here? perhaps a snowy or great gray owl? or... or... man the list is long. maybe I'll win the publisher's clearinghouse some day and can afford to travel more. A guy can dream right?
  10. Hmm... I may have to decide between Kentucky and Tennessee... TN would take a LITTLE longer... that is if I take a longer trip home.
  11. I hope I don't go overboard with this planning. Now I'm looking at driving home a LONGER way, heading from MA... going down through Rhode Island, Connecticut, NY and NJ, Delaware, Maryland, skirting the edges of DC, Virginia, west virginia, tennessee... One of the roads in the DC area, actually a few spots, are RED on google maps... should I be scared? Should I try to pass through THAT many places and add a few hours to my drive? 9 or so hours of driving EVERY day for three days not counting the stops for birding? hmmm... Some of those places I can just do 15 minute pit stop birding. So that shouldn't be a huge burden.
  12. I'm not quite sure what qualifies as "boreal" birds as many of them that are found in those areas are found elsewhere. I have a lot to learn about habitat specifics and such. Pardon my ignorance on that. Looks like a little over 3 hours from my mom's house though. I think IF I look into a trip like that I'll have to plan an actual camping trip nearby to justify driving that far. Wouldn't want to drive that far, see a few birds, then turn around and drive back. I might look at what birds are common there and see where else they might be found that might be closer and then decide if it's something I need to look into. So far I only see a SMALL handful of "needs" on their charts for August there but, those few look worth the drive. Here's the bar chart for that spot, limited to August. https://ebird.org/barchart?r=L207476&byr=1900&eyr=2019&m=8 And these are the birds that have been seen there(most of them frequently it seems) that I'd LOVE to see... Ruffed Grouse Spruce Grouse Black-backed woodpecker Boreal Chickadee White-winged Crossbill Bay-breasted warbler Black-throated Blue warbler I heard a black-throated blue in my yard here in AR this spring but never saw it. :( Every one of those are birds my daughter and I would LOVE to see. So I will definitely keep this in mind. So as to not drive my family crazy I'll only make a couple of actual birding trips while up there but something like that might be worth it. One year we camped up in Maine so we could go on a puffin tour one day. Though if I go to Vermont, will I be able to justify a trip to Maine as well if the little egret is still around that late??? I guess we'll see. Perhaps I can find some of the members here to act as guides??? :) I love exploring on my own but when searching for specific stuff, it's always better to have someone familiar with a location show a person around. So far this has the potential to be a good trip. Thinking about the few locations I'm looking at so far I think we'll be able to add at least a dozen life birds. We'll see though. Maybe we can cram a bit more than that into just a few outings. I really, REALLY hate driving to Massachusetts when we go but the birding stuff might help that be far more tolerable. HA
  13. A few years ago when I tried planning something like this, I had a couple individuals try and help find me spots to visit. Stinks that the forums aren't organized they way they were and that attendance is SO down... I plan on updating this topic several times(perhaps several times today...) Some things I think I will figure out all on my own. Other things, I hope I can find people in specific areas for good advice. Especially for stops along the travel path. I found one spot in NY that is RIGHT next to I-90 and seems to all but guarantee some common gallinules, among some other good possibilities. I think it's going to be a good trip as long as I keep on stressing the planning ahead of time. :) and :( ha...... Anyone here familiar with the St Louis area? One bird in particular I want to see(have seen in Illinois another trip) is the eurasian tree sparrow. Part of this planning is to make sure I get eBird lists in all the states I pass through. I don't know if I have any old checklists in MO, will have to search my notebooks one of these days... MOST of the "common" birds in MO I will be able to find in other parts of the trip a bit easier so I don't think there's any real "needs" in MO but, I do "need" to make a list there somewhere. So, why not have that be my tree sparrow stop? :) Attached is a map of the ST Louis area. The red scribbles show where I'll be coming into the area on 44 and where I'll be leaving the area on 70 over in IL. The blue is the area that is probably not TOO far off the path... the red line to the right side is an alternate route around St Louis that I could take. Lots of good hotspots in that area but... are any of them REALLY reliable for tree sparrows? Or anything that stands out as a "You NEED to go there.?" I'm sure I'll be back with more questions and such but for now... need help planning my pass through that area.
  14. if you have other photos showing other angles of the bird, people MIGHT be able to judge some other traits and feel more confident.
  15. no answers yet eh? Only thing I can think of is that it reminds me of PART of a cardinal's songs/calls. I've been waiting to see what someone else might have to say. I'm not familiar with all the birds in those parts.
  16. hmm, thanks. I bet there are birds I haven't seen, somewhere in the states I'll be passing through. I may do some quick searches on eBird for whole states and bar charts, then scan for good hotspots along the route and check the bar charts as well and see if anything stands out. We'll see. If I was more ambitious here I'd deep dive and really dig up every possibility. Last time I checked, if I remember correctly, Race Point Beach is a bit of a drive from where my mom lives. I think I'd only make that drive if I had something else to do there, like a free hotel room or something... HA.. I'll keep it in mind. So far I think Plum Island will be visited, we'll see. I'll watch those rare bird reports. I doubt the curlew sandpiper will still be around. And I can only hope the little egret will still be up in Maine. There are a LOT of shorebirds(many I couldn't ID right away) that we still need for our life lists. But I think if I had to pick one to hunt down it would be an oystercatcher. I should check with my daughter and see what she might want to go find. Wish I had my own boat and lots of time as razorbills would be fun to find as well. 🙂 SO many birds... so little time.
  17. Is there a picture of the bird? I'm not seeing one. And location and date can help.
  18. The tail would also be red for a summer so, I'd say you have a scarlet here.
  19. Short-billed is the impression I'm getting. The dowitchers are REAL tough and I'm just barely learning about them. The one in the front seems to have a slight curve to the bill, whitish underside(long-billed should be buffy right now) and the overall posture suggest short-billed to me. Wait for someone that knows them better to reply to confirm though. :)
  20. I'm thinking, perhaps I took the question wrong? There are people that get mad enough at cowbirds and this behavior that they'd want to harm them. I took the "what should I do?" as a "hey, can I get rid of this thing?" Oops.. With any fledged birds, if they can fly a little ways it is best to leave them alone. I saw a chart the other day on what to do if you find a baby bird. I'll see if I can dig it up. If it's small and weak and can't fly at all, you can put it in the nest if you can find it. If it ever seems abandoned you can try to find a local rehabber. But one that can fly some should be fine. They'll keep flying and getting stronger day by day.
  21. well it's not the same tweedle dee tweedle dum I heard in my yard the other day... but glad you got a recording. Wood thrushes are one of my favorite sounds while birding... even when I don't find them to see them, there's just something about that song...
  22. I don't want to bring up the size discussion with someone new. It's very, very, very easy to say a bird(or fish, or ____) is a certain size, and feel 100% certain of it, but be wrong... and sometimes, not even just a little wrong. I got in a discussion with someone on facebook that saw a pileated woodpecker that, well maybe it was an ivory billed because it was THREE feet tall. They wouldn't listen to anyone. They knew, from their car, looking up a tree, that the bird was bigger than a bald eagle. Size is just that tough to judge. I've seen quite a few birds look SUPER tiny... lighting and angles come into play. Chickadees, give or take depending on species, are in the 5 inch range. This bird here is a little tough to judge because of the angle it is posed in. The way the bird is posed changes what we can see. If you look at a football from one angle, it looks like a round ball. If that makes sense. I've even argued that I could judge a bird's size here before. Sometimes you can but, you need to have something to reference it to. Like a tape measure, and object you know the size of, or another bird that's next to it. It's weird and frustrating at times how something can look bigger or smaller than it actually is. Can play with my mind in the field sometimes. I've been birding 5(ish) years or so and they still fool my eyes/brain sometimes. Kind of like optical illusions. anyway, sorry for the over-explanation to that. We're pretty familiar with red-winged blackbirds. I used to be fooled by those females a LOT. I'd see them in a bush and they'd look small from certain angles, then all that streaking. I thought I was looking at some weird sparrow. Once in a while they still cause me to do a double take. I'll get frustrated but at the same time, I think it's kind of fun to be fooled. Sometimes anyway. HA. You'll also find that, certain times of year, the females and males will migrate in separate flocks. Imagine seeing a flock of these with no adult males mixed in. Hmm, my fingers are talkative this morning. Anyway, welcome again. Ask as many questions as you need. I sure do, ask anyone. 🙂
  23. it pains me to see that sort of thing. But, legally and ethically, you can't do anything. The brown-headed cowbird, as much as some of us dislike them, are a native species and are therefore protected under federal law. wish I could say something else but I can't.
  24. I don't think anyone sees it that way. Sometimes we offer suggestions and we're wrong. Happens to most of us. And some good questioning never hurts.
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