Compiled by John Shamgochian
Ahh, November: a nice, woody sounding month. But in addition to the name, there is good cause to love November. First of all, my birthday is in November (and everybody loves my birthday!) But when it comes to birding, November can hold its own against the bird watching giants May and August. This November has once again proven itself a "birder's month". While the flocks of grosbeaks and siskins are finding their way to the nation's feeders, down from on high rain the calls of the crossbills, which have swept the birding community away with their shear, taxonomically-confusing numbers. Birding is at its peak.
But November brings more then just finches. Indeed, a huge variety of rarities, vagrants, and even megas have appeared this year, far from their native lands. But to hear, or should I say read, me prattle on is not why you browse these "blog birdings," so without further ado I present to you some highlights from this month's young birder community blogging (and a fine community it is, too!)
I'll shall start the list of posts with perhaps my favorite of this months writings: an essay which will blow you away with its simplicity and the obvious ease of the author when writing it. From the deepest corners of Not Just Birds, Neil Gilbert gives us this story:
From the the wilds of Virginia, Corey Husic writes about birding in the wake of Super Storm Sandy on The Baypoll Blog.
As anyone in the United States should know, a large storm hit the mid-Atlantic two weeks ago, bringing strong winds and rain to much of the eastern United States. This powerful storm brought hundreds of seabirds inland, causing jaegers to show up on inland lakes and storm-petrels to be found flying around major rivers. Birders all over the region flocked to locations where they could observe this unusual avian spectacle.
Ethan Kistler, the Nomadic Birder,tells the story of the Taughannock Loon Watch and more.
Bill Evans, creator of Old Bird (a nonprofit which facilitates acoustic monitoring of avian flight calls), discovered back in 1992 that Common Loons had a significant southbound migration route over Cayuga Lake. For those geographically challenged, Cayuga Lake is the longest of the glacial Finger Lakes in central New York, stretching 40 miles north of Ithaca. In the fall, Common Loons congregate on Lake Ontario and when winds are favorable from the NW, they head south following Cayuga Lake and eventually over land towards the Atlantic coast.
From Chicago come the writings of Nathan Goldberg on his blog, Birding Illinois and the USA. He smartly describes a day of birding the lakefront and the highlights it holds.
This past weekend, I birded with Ethan, Aaron, and Eric Gyllenhaal of Oak Park (near Chicago). They are crazy young birders who seem to traverse the state for every bird they want/need to see. This past Saturday, the winds looked very promising for lakewatching at Gillson Park, in Wilmette. This is the premier spot to lakewatch in Illinois, as it seems to be the spot that birds pass closest to when flying out over the lake. We were hoping for something rare or uncommon like a Black-legged Kittiwake, a Jaeger of any species, or something better. We did not see any of those, but it was a good day for Scoters since we had 17 of them.
Kristina Polk from Wild@Heart gives a call for peace in a beautifully written discussion. It comes complete with great photos and quotes from some of our world's greatest speakers. Although this post in no way focuses on birds, it is written by a young birder and is well worth reading.
Our job, our mission, our place, should be peace. A message of respect, love, kindness, and empowerment should come from our hearts and spread to everyone we encounter. We should not discriminate, hate, or ridicule. At our very worst we should be at least attentive. Aware. Paying attention to the drumming of life around and within us, and determined to preserve its current beauty and inspire a grander future.
Finally, the Prairie Birder talks technology and the impact it has on our daily (birding) lives. This is a post I would have found very useful when I was starting out.
As a pretty typical 15-year-old, I like technology! I love my laptop and iPod. And best of all, they can be used very well with some other things I love, birds and birding. I didn’t get hooked on birding because of the technology, but as I’ve become more involved with social media, I am finding various technologies to be a very useful tool.