Collaborative list – June 2021

10,000 Birds

Flaming June is busting out all over. Insects were held back by weird spring weather, but now the warmth returns and the birds are feasting on the late stirring bugs. June saw 8 beats get their birding boots on and share 90 checklists for your pleasure.

Cute Fuzzy Adorable Baby Birdies

10,000 Birds

baby Black Skimmer Rynchops niger baby Common Tern Sterna hirundo baby American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus … a. Is there anything cuter than precocious fuzzy baby birds? I don’t think so. A recent visit to a nesting colony on Long Island’s south shore led to levels of adorable so high that diabetics are hereby warned to stay away from this post for fear that your blood-sugar levels might skyrocket through osmosis. These baby birds are sweet! And cute!

2011 67

Collaborative List – August 2021

10,000 Birds

It is delightful to see that the beats are getting back into the field and brandishing their optics around with great relish. They have been waiting for the natural imperative that calls them outside and now the leash has been loosened. I hope that you have made it out too. Stay vigilant and safe.

Collaborative List – Sept 2021

10,000 Birds

493 Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. 496 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. The Chiffchaff and Blackcaps are no longer singing locally, the hirundines are concentrating their numbers and the nights are noticeably earlier. It must be September.

Collaborative list July 2021

10,000 Birds

Heatwaves, floods, lockdown, football and Olympics. It’s a wonder that any of the beats managed to get out and wave their binoculars at birds this July. Yet, 79 checklists were submitted by 8 beats, accounting for 366 species in 5 countries.

Collaborative List ? May 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Swift (Cypseloides niger). Black Tern (Chlidonias niger). Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger). This was the month we (in the northern hemisphere) had all been waiting for, but what a strange month May 2020 has been.

2020 58

Pelican Brewing Company: Brut India Pale Ale

10,000 Birds

Unlike conventional brewing yeast species like Saccharomyces cerevisiae , amyloglucosidase – an enzyme derived from the fungus Aspergillus niger, the common black mold found on vegetables like onions – is capable of breaking down more complex sugars like glucose in beer, leaving a fermented product relatively free of the residual sugars that give some sweetness and body to traditional beers.

Collaborative list – April 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger). As the rest of the world hides behind the curtains, our beats have thrown theirs open to record the avian life that passes outside their windows.

2020 58

Why Don’t I Have Any Finches At My Feeder?

10,000 Birds

Nyjer (also known as Niger and Thistle) is not grown in the US, though it is possible. So it’s best that when you purcase Nyjer/Niger/Thistle that you always purchase small quantities and purchase often. When trying to attract finches, it can be feast or famine. Some days you get bunches and bunches, other times you might feel totally rejected by them. I recently had a conversation with a colleague who works for the Department of Natural Resources.

2011 78

Pat’s 2020 Bird List, Mostly from Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Black Tern– Chlidonias niger; Paquera, 3-Jan. It’s January and another year list begins. This is what many of us birders do, we start another list.

2020 87

Collaborative List – July 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Have you noticed that “pishing” is far less efective when one is wearing a mask? Do you think that the pish is muted, dispersed or in some other way deprived of its urgency?

2020 59

Black Skimmers at Cupsogue Beach County Park

10,000 Birds

A bird such as Rynchops niger is a testament to the marvels of evolution. Black Skimmers are another of those birds, like White-breasted Nuthatches , that people can’t help but like. They have awesome bills that slice through the water in search of fish, they bark like small dogs, they have a cool color scheme. It is impossible not to be amazed by skimmers as they effortlessly glide over the water, their bills cutting a furrow that will not be planted but harvested.

2011 60

Finicky Finches

10,000 Birds

The food for finches can go by a variety of names: Thistle or Niger or Nyjer (and that’s just once seed, that doesn’t include all the finch specific mixes on the market). Have you had trouble keeping finches at your feeder? If so, you’re not alone, it’s a common bird feeding question. American Goldfinches are one of the prettiest reasons to keep your feeders full in the summer.

2011 76

Collaborative list – June 2020

10,000 Birds

41 Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. 87 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. So, just as our heroes head back out into the woods, the woods go quiet.

2020 60

Into an Uncertain Future

10,000 Birds

The crucial factor limiting the maximum baggage is the transport of the entire German population to their new home in the central Saharan desert regions of southern Algeria, Mali and Niger by camel. This may come as a surprise and it is sure to rock the stocks, yet it is an inevitable consequence of recent developments and a logic step to those familiar with European affairs: The Germans are preparing to leave the European Union. No seriously.

2013 52

Collaborative list – November 2020

10,000 Birds

376 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Who remembers birding parties? This virus just won’t give up. With some of the beats locked down still, or again, the birding has been patchy.

2020 65

Collaborative list – March 2021

10,000 Birds

It is slightly weird that when I first saw the name of the virus, I misread it as Corvid-19. Is that just a birder thing do you think? A year on I still have to think carefully. There is no escaping the fact that as soon as restrictions are relaxed, infection rates rise again.

Wrapping up a very good 2016

10,000 Birds

5 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger Ok…I have to admit that this bird probably should be much higher up this list, but more birds just kept popping up. As the year begins to wind down, I have taken to a bit of reminiscing. From a professional stand point, this has been an outstanding twelve months. I am not sure I can call it the “Best Year Ever” but it certainly is worth some recognition.

2016 40

Collaborative list – August 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Mike complains of a dearth of birds in his BBOTW post for the last weekend of August and I am sure that many of us know exactly how he feels. Try to find new ways of getting your kicks from the common stuff.

2020 57

Collaborative list – Year list 2020

10,000 Birds

This year you get two listy posts for the price of one. You lucky, lucky birders! The idea being that putting December and the 2020 year review in the same post may prove to be listing overload for some. So this is the list for the complete year and the December list can be seen here.

2020 77

Black Swifts Nesting at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

10,000 Birds

Undoubtedly one of the most interesting aspects of Burney Falls for birders is that it is one of the few locations in California where nesting Black Swifts ( Cypseloides niger ) can be found. McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park sits on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range between two active volcanoes, Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak. The Cascade Range, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, extends from Northern California to Southern British Columbia.

2013 71

The Rose-ringed Parakeets of Heidelberg

10,000 Birds

Heidelberg university campus, Niger, Rajasthan – they’re all the same! A Birdy New Year! This article is about the parrots we have, not the ones we wish we had. Here in Germany, we don’t wish we had. Because we never have had. But now that we do have, and while we may or rather should wish we had not, we might as well roll with the punches and accept that we have. Yes, Germany has parrots, or parakeets to be more precise.

2012 79

Collaborative List – September 2020

10,000 Birds

188 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Redgannet has dropped off the radar.

2020 95

What is killing birds at Karla Lake (Greece)?

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger 15. There should be thousands of birds at this time of the year, Dimitris Michalakis from the Karla Lake management authority told me. In early August this year, I saw 77 species here (69 on the lake, plus 8 more in the surrounding areas) but barely more than a thousand individuals.

Birding the Little Rann of Kutch

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger. Wake up buzz at 5.30 am, breakfast at 6 (toast – who can eat at that ungodly hour?) and at 6.30 we’re already in an open 4×4 heading for the salt pans of the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India. With 5000 square kilometres, that “little” is far from small – it should be taken more as a “lesser”, compared to the Great Rann of Kutch. Winter mornings are pretty cold, even without the wind-chill effect of an open Maruti Gypsy.

2013 75

The Icebird Cometh

10,000 Birds

Despite their voracious appetite for expensive niger thistle, they’re pleasant to have around. This fall has been an incredible one for winter finches across the eastern part of the continent. Birders in New England and the Mid-Atlantic have been reporting Evening Grosbeaks in numbers for the past month, and along with both redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks , and both crossbills it’s already looking like one for the history books… er…status and distribution guides.

2012 53

Feeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce & Conservation: A Book Review by a Curious Bird Feeder

10,000 Birds

Shelves of feeders to choose from, ranging from inexpensive tubes to porcelain sculptures; bags and barrels of shelled and unshelled seed, including something called variously thistle, nyjer or niger; guidelines on when, how, where to do the actual feeding. I came late to bird feeding, and when I was finally able to put out a “thistle” sock and a seed feeder (or two or six), I was amazed by the learning curve.

2015 76

Collaborative list – June 2019

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger. Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Here comes summer. The beats have been embracing the benign weather and cruising gently into the crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer. The trend at this time of year is a downturn in shared lists and birds reported, nevertheless, 12 (is this a record?) beats have still managed to share 82 checklists and accounted for 737 species.

2019 45

Heading out on the road

10,000 Birds

70 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger El Centenario Tidal Flats 1-Jan-18. And so the next chapter begins. By the time most of you will be reading this, we will be on the road. As of midnight, February 31st, I am officially retired. Let the full time birding begin. At approximately 7:00 AM MT, we will begin our drive north, leaving our beloved La Paz, Mexico after 7 great years.

2018 44

We Should Kill More Lions

10,000 Birds

There are also important populations of ungulates including sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) (7000), Lichtenstein’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus lichtensteinii) (52,150), greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), eland (Taurotragus oryx) and Nyassa wildebeest (Connochaetes albojubatus) (80,815).

Lions 63

Collaborative List – October 2019

10,000 Birds

Southern Black-Tit – Melaniparus niger. Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver – Bubalornis niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. 14 countries were birded this month by 13 beats; a record participative effort! 172 lists were shared and 1004 species were seen, both records for October, so well done beats! The country list (which also includes Principalities, Territories, Special Administrative Regions, Autonomuos States, Kingdoms, Caliphates, etc.) has reached 54.

2019 45

Collaborative list January 2021

10,000 Birds

Elves love the collaborative list. This is where they come in January while there is still nothing to do on the naughty and nice list.

Collaborative List – July 2019

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. During July, 11 beats birded 11 countries (USA, UK, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Japan, UAE, Mexico, China and Saudi Arabia) and submitted 82 checklists. They accounted for 562 species at this sluggish time of year. The year list has moved forward to 1962 and the life list has leapt forward to 3759. These are the numbers. Alphabetic Taxonomic. Location. Date.

2019 45

Collaborative list – October 2020

10,000 Birds

337 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Fall is well and truly underway and the shoreline is filling with waders and wildfowl. October has seen the return of closer to normal activity for the beats and collaboration has been as high as it has been since February. Included in the numbers are 2 new life-listers; a Long-tailed Koel from Duncan and a White-throated Rock-Thrush from Kai. This brings our all-time total to 4040.

2020 48

Duncan’s 2015 List

10,000 Birds

Black Tern ( Chlidonias niger ); Wakkerstroom, South Africa, 23 February. Struthionidae (Ostriches). Ostritch ( Struthio camelus ); Wakkerstroom, South Africa, 22 February. ANATIDAE (DUCKS). White-faced Whistling Duck ( Dendrocygna viduata ); Kasane, Botswana, 1 January. Lesser Whistling Duck ( Dendrocygna javanica ); Singapore Botanical Gardens, Singapore, 25 February. White-backed Duck ( Thalassornis leuconotus ); Wakkerstroom, South Africa, 22 February.

2015 62

Collaborative list – January 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. A new year, a new list. Does anyone have any special plans for the new decade? If you are not already a lister, this could be the moment that you have been waiting for.

2020 60

Collaborative list – May 2019

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. So that was May. Despite looking way older than his years, we cannot attribute Regannet’s haggard appearance to hard birding, scoring only 19 during eBird’s Big Day was not the greatest effort expended on May 4th. In fairness, he had to celebrate Star Wars Day with his teenage son as this is their only means of effective conversation.

2019 43

Collaborative list – April 2019

10,000 Birds

It’s official. It’s spring. By all measures, meteorological, astronomical and anatomical, spring is sprung. The meteorological date is from March 1st, the Vernal Equinox was passed on March 20th which accounts for the astronomical marker when the sun crosses the equator on its northwards ramble. April is now behind us and Old Tom’s arthritis is clearing up nicely, thank you very much for asking. The migrants are coming (Hurray!). Some are already here, or passing through.

2019 43

Collaborative List – July 2018

10,000 Birds

Southern Black-Tit – Melaniparus niger. Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. And so to summer. Traditionally, the slow season, but the beats have mopped their collective brow and outdone their previous efforts. The UK has been birded clean by Tom as he ends his Little Big Year (Part 1). Redgannet continues his quest to bring colour to the profile map (one pixel at a time), by visiting The Seychelles (this time, on purpose!).

2018 40

Collaborative List – November 2019

10,000 Birds

Despite last month being a record month by every measure we could think of, the cumulative total for the year had barely scraped past 2,400. I approached The Management to seek their opinion. Something needed to be done. Somebody had to take one for the team.

2019 55

Collaborative List – June 2018

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger. It’s all been happening this month. Just when we thought that the beats deserved a quiet month after the exertions of May, they came out with Bushnell’s blazing and gave June both barrels! Honduras , Malaysia and the southern-most bits of South Africa feature large this month with Mike, Duncan and Tom all vying to be MVB for June. Of course we all know it will be Pat… again… , but let them have their fun.

2018 40

Collaborative List – May 2018

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger. Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. That was May. Month of months. As we pass into June we can forgive some of our northern beats if they take a few moments to savour the past few weeks. But the beats go on in Southern climes and our intrepid little-big-year beat, Tom enters Africa.

2018 40

Collaborative list – December 2018

10,000 Birds

Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. So what do you want first? The numbers? The accolades? The lifers? December’s collaborative results also summarises the year’s efforts, so this is December 2018 and the rest of 2018 all rolled into one sentence.

2019 43