Tuesday, May 10, 2011

16 Months

Well, I asked for it – not updating my blog for 16 months means I have a lot of catching up to do. To make life easier, I’m going to do it in two, three, maybe four posts. Since my absence, I’ve done a lot of birding in South Africa, worked on the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas, took a road trip from Oklahoma to New Mexico, explored Algonquin during winter, birded England and France and now back in Ohio enjoying spring migration before heading to Montana for another field job.

Starting where I left off on January 18, 2010, the following day, Gerald Wingate and I drove 120km north of Cape Town to the West Coast National Park. This 106 sq. mile park hugs the South African coastline and offers some of the best shorebirding around. WCNP has several bird hides situated along Langabaan Bay and if timed right, shorebirds galore. By the end of the day we had: Black-winged Stilt, Common-ringed, Kittlitz’s, Chestnut-banded, White-fronted, and Black-bellied Plovers, Blacksmith Lapwing, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew, Common, and Marsh Sandpipers, Common Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel and Ruddy Turnstone. Other interesting birds include Cape Crombec, Cape Penduline-Tit, Southern Black Korhaan and several Gray-winged Francolins (see below).

West Coast National Park mudflats

 Grey-winged Francolin (endemic)

Verreaux's Eagle - nesting nearby

This pretty much concluded birding for a while as I attended lectures. After exams were over in late-May, I flew back to Ohio for my second field season working for the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II conducting point counts throughout the state. This year was pretty uneventful unlike two years prior when I recorded Upland Sandpipers in Ashland and Harrison Counties, Golden-winged Warbler in Summit County, Clay-colored X Field Sparrow hybrid in Lorain County and helped discover Ohio’s first breeding Common Raven in over 100 years. At the end of the field season, I was Cape Town bound again...

1 comment:

David said...

Welcome Home Ethan!
It was great to see you at Magee, I'm sure we'll see you again this weekend.