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To New England again...


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On 8/9/2021 at 12:09 PM, Avery said:

If you are heading down interstate 90 through Lebanon NH on your way back, you may want to pull into the Walmart as there are a few Least Bitterns that hang out and forage in the little pool behind the store. 

@Avery  Is this the spot? https://goo.gl/maps/fsPk1HevFmV2MavU6

I want to save that in google maps so I can find it easily if I decide to go that way...

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  • 2 weeks later...

YAWN......  what is sleep?

I went camping at Brighton State Park in Vermont and it was a good trip. I have a few kids that "hate" birding because they're not really that interested in the birds and hate walking and walking. I'm 44 and I tell them they're kids... I'm out of shape. They should be able to keep up... and, enjoy the other nature around.
Eventually they got to feed a chipmunk right out of their hands...  WHILE my oldest was doing that she suddenly said "don't move."  THREE canada jays flew in to join the feast. They were a bit more nervous than the chipmunks and didn't eat from our hands but one did grab some seed off my hat which was fun. LIFER...

Earlier on the trail we had even more excitement...  My daughter heard something fly so she looked and 20 to 30 feet up a tree was a male spruce grouse. What an awesome sight. I have pictures but don't know when I'll get to posting them... I'm on vacation... 😛 
So two new species just like that. They eventually(thanks to someone else mentioning it) got to hand feed some red-breasted nuthatches... That too was fun. None of the kids wanted to leave that spot. When we finally gave up, the birds followed us down the trail for a while.

Later on peanut dam road... well by then my oldest was wiped out so she did not go down as far as I... and so, she missed out. I used some playback and got a couple of boreal chickadees down there. They didn't stick around long enough. Called the kids down the road and the birds were gone and they didn't care about the playback anymore... just silence. Was a cool road and I wish I could have walked further.

Earlier on that road there was a couple birding there and we had all stopped to look at some warblers. We all watched this one bird and, we all left stumped...  til later on when I was looking at eBird reports from THAT morning where someone reported two bay breasted warblers.
Saw some yellowish... the other person there was noticing a more peachy color... two wing bars...  it was all starting to make sense. My daughter was pretty excited since she watched it for a while and was making mental notes of the features... she was like "So I can count it... yes."  This was our very first bay breasted warbler.
I didn't get pictures of the warbler or those new chickadees but four new life birds in one day... it was great.
The only disappointment was no moose, with all the signs around.
I have seen moose when I was younger but my kids never have...  a live(and not dead on road) porcupine would have been nice too. I said if I ever go up that far again I might end up searching for mammals instead. HA. 

Nothing else new and exciting... 

I am THINKING about getting on eBird to look for local reports of oystercatchers. I don't want to drive and drive and leave empty handed but I'd sure love to see one.
i'm also debating on my trip back to Arkansas in just a few days.  😞  (If it wasn't for an ex that gets visitation of a few of the kids, I'd stay quite a bit longer...)
I am wondering if that little egret is still in Delaware and how reliable it is......  I might have to take the longer way home just to see that. I wonder how many hours that would add to the drive.
I wish I had more time and energy as I'd then see what else I could find on such a detour... perhaps in other states... more birds I've never seen. We'll see.
To oystercatcher search today or not??? 
Have to give the whole family those take at home covid tests before my sister's wedding tomorrow. How fun. It's bad enough shoving one of those things up your own nose but doing that to kids?  humbug.

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Oh yeah, we heard the bitterns but did not see them... well, heard at least one. Which means I'll count it and my daughter probably wont. 😞 
Wish I had more time... haven't been to plum island or anywhere but our camping trip really. But, visiting with family and  swimming and stuff is all important too right. 🙂  

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I'm mad at myself for changing my friday beach plans... Ended up thinking I'd go this morning... I still could but, now I have family that's going to show up at my mom's house around noon as we're heading back to AR tomorrow. Ack... we have to clean and pack still. 😞  Anyone want to help me drive back to Arkansas???  I'm NOT looking forward to it. Would be the first time driving that far by myself in more than 20 years. Getting older makes such trips a little harder each time. Humbug.
Wish I could go to the beach and do more birding...  but you can only pack so much birding into a trip without driving your family crazy. Four new life birds on one trip isn't too bad though.

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Looking at eBird I am seeing clapper rails in CT... which makes me want to chase those too but I think I might try to stick with the more obvious bird... the oystercatcher.  And perhaps I will give milford another chance this year.
Does anyone know Milford Point well? That whole area?
Last time I just stopped at the audubon center and scanned from there and it got dark on us... I will try to get there much earlier this time.
Can I park at the Audubon unit and then walk down to the beach with the kids? Is swimming allowed on that beach there? Rules? Where's a good spot there to look for oystercatchers?  Any and all advice on that location would be appreciated.
This wont take me down 90 through NY but will only add like 20 minutes to my total driving time so why not. 🙂 
If I can leave here by noon at the latest tomorrow, I should be able to get to Milford by or before 3 which will still give me some daylight there.

I'd try and find someone to meet me and show me around but the way our trips go, I can never promise when exactly I'll leave so I can't predict an arrival time as closely as I'd like. ha. 

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I will, at some point, try to get some IDs from Milford... That place was awesome. I left my kids at the edge of the beach where they just buried each other and had fun... I think I bothered a photographer...  he had a HUGE HUGE lens but was photographing sanderlings and such less than 20 feet away, maybe even 10 feet at times???... Part of me was wondering how a lens that big could even shoot something that close.  But then, I don't know a lot about photography yet. I tried to disturb the guy as little as possible but was glad I did as he told me that further down is where a person might see some oystercatchers...  There was only a single one down there but... it was awesome.
I had seen a ruddy turnstone before but I don't believe I had in male breeding plumage... and there were at least 8 turnstones there, at least 6 male. You could get fairly close too... was an awesome sight.
Had one VERY faint plover that the guy said was a young piping. Had another that looked semipalmated but a bit fainter. I'll have to look at the pictures.
tons of sanderlings and then some sandpipers along with them that I'm just not great with...  was scanning for a red knot...  definitely not any breeding adults but I'll have to look over my pics to see if any of the birds I was uncertain of was anything interesting...

Was a great trip...  Sad it's over. 😞  
Almost to Missouri yesterday and I joked with my son "should I pull over here and do some birding?"  He joked back "yeah..." 
So I did. Just happened to be at horseshoe lake park, a place I had been and seen eurasian tree sparrows before...  I searched and searched and had no luck with them 😞  
But, at least a dozen common gallinules, MOST of them being young... was pretty cool. And an adult and a young mississippi kite perched in a tree almost right above me... closest I've been to one of those before.
I added about 2.5 hours to my drive home by stopping there... which made me quite exhausted when we got in near 10PM last night.

All in all, a good trip...
American oystercatcher

Least bittern (heard only)
Canada Jay
Boreal chickadee
Spruce grouse
Bay-breasted warbler

6 new birds? I definitely can't complain. 🙂  6 really cool birds.

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Sounds like a fun trip! I also can't drive like I used to. In my 20s? Man, 12 hour days (or more!) were fine. These days I've learned if I want to be a functional human, we should only do 8 hour days, max, and have a good bed to sleep in at night. Looking at driving from Georgia to New Mexico in November. Should be interesting!

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