New England. Unlucky.
It’s good but not exactly South Africa (next year hopefully) I love America though and this wasn’t a bird trek so I couldn’t expect much. More than that, it was a coach tour so I didn’t even have the luxury of slamming on the brakes and running through the undergrowth to spot a fly by.
We were going to whale watch so I had a plan there. Screw the whales – but not literally you understand.
So it goes like this. I only had a compact camera so the images are record shots at best so pleas be underwhelmed.
Our first stop was New York and the only birds I could positively ID were these two Red-tailed Hawks circling over Central Park when we visited Strawberry Fields and the John Lennon Memorial.
There were thrushes hanging out in the park but I couldn’t get a good look at the so have to leave that to imagination which is apt I suppose. We weren’t in New York State for long and headed into Massachusetts where we stopped at a farm shop to get coffee etc. While everyone took photos of pumpkins and other random crap, I found a Hairy Woodpecker taking lumps out of the next door farm. There were also a small party of Red-winged Blackbirds and a rather elegant Monarch butterfly.
|My first Monarch Butterfly.|
Back in the hotel grounds, things were hotting up. Birds were flying about everywhere. Dark-eyed Juncos, Downy Woodpeckers and a Field Sparrow grouped together under a few shrubs close to the hotel entrance. I wish I had been staying all day in the hotel but I was booked on a trip up Mount Washington so any detailed viewing was nipped in the bud.
|Dark-eyed Junco and Field Sparrow|
The Downy Woodpecker is small, smaller, just, than our Lesser Spotted Woodpecker by about 10mm. Most of the time I found it climbing the limbs of small shrubs it is that small!
I also saw a Northern Cardinal but couldn’t get a shot, not that any I may have taken would be any good.
On the road to Mount Washington, I had an American Kestrel and an unknown raptor in a telegraph pole – how I wish I could have stopped the coach for a better look but that’s package holidays for you.
|American Herring Gull|
|Manx and Cory’s Shearwaters|
|Very Black Ducks|
The whale-watching was of course the perfect place to watch birds. Everyone got very excited about the humpbacks, me included but when the marine biologists told us that an indication of where the whales were would be huge seabird activity, my excitement was always going to be greater than anyone else's. Gannets first followed by an A-list of Shearwaters including Manx Shearwaters, Great Shearwaters and very numerous Cory’s Shearwaters really made my day.
Trip List: Common Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Great Shearwater, Cory’s Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Northern Gannet, Great Cormorant, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Mute Swan, Mallard, Black Duck, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Wild Turkey, Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, American Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Hermit Thrush, Northern Mockingbird, Eurasian Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle), Field Sparrow, House Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch.