American Birding Podcast



Blog Birding #246

Congo Peafowl is a ghost bird, living in a difficult area to access and difficult to find once there. At Nature Travel Network, Laura Kammermeier relays the story of a recent, and successful, quest to finally find one.

The Congo Peafowl, therefore, is “one of the most elusive animals on earth.” This might very well be the last African bird that anyone in their right mind should count on adding to their life list.

If its elusiveness wouldn’t give one cause to reconsider, then the fact that birding the Congo is not exactly a walk in the park might have stopped the madness sooner.

Now that Noah Strycker has broken the world Big Year record with three months left in the year, how high can he go? Michael Preston at The Birder and Biologist attempts to answer that question.

To me, the writing was on the wall very early in the year (see earlier posts); the record would easily be beaten given the pace Noah had set for himself. Perhaps, however, the most impressive element of breaking the record is the actual date in which he broke it…leaving a full 106 days in 2015 to widen the gap, making it increasingly difficult for a potential record challenger to be successful.
 It’s an incredible time of year to look at the sea, particularly with Joaquin spinning around offshore. At Birding with Buckley, Alvan Buckley writes about a particularly satisfying seawatch.

I arrived at one of my favourite seawatch locations, Cape St. Francis, this morning shortly after sunrise. Throughout the week I had been anticipating a seabird event in nearby Conception Bay South, but as the weekend approached the wind forecasts became weaker. That in combination with the lack of fog or significant rain made me even less expectant of a seabird event so I was expecting an average seawatch when I woke up this morning with maybe a few shearwaters.

And while on the topic of seabirds, David Sibley offers his thoughts on Cory’s Shearwater subspecies, and how we might be able to go about parsing them out.

What I have learned this year, not surprisingly, is that confirming the extent of white on the underwing is extremely difficult under field conditions (with binoculars, that is – a camera allows more detailed inspection). It requires very close and extended viewing in good light. Changing lighting, and the nature of the flight of shearwaters, can dramatically alter the impression of white on the underwing, especially at a distance.

It’s a great time of year to look for jaegers inland, and Matt at Birding Berrien and Beyond shares the agony and the ecstasy of jaeger watching.

The first bird was a first year that I didn’t get great photos of.  It was very windy and the bird looked fairly heavy with its primaries held fairly tightly for the most part and wasn’t particularly warm in color.  I actually thought this bird had a very good chance of being a Pomarine.  Eventually it came close enough for the camera to pick up some projecting tail points