If you like listening to podcasts, here are birding podcasts that I would recommend:
2 Longer Shows:
American Birding Podcast – Run by the ABA (American Birding Association) and the host is Nate Swick. I find the recent ABA rarities segment most fascinating, though the show is consistently very good. In my opinion, this is the best longer show available.
Ray Brown’s Talkin’ Birds – More on the “traditional radio show” side of things with little variation in outline, but a good staple.
2 Shorter Shows:
WCAI Weekly Bird Report – Short segments that are regional in nature (Cape Code, MA), but tend to be widely interesting to birders. I love their emphasis on migration. In my opinion, this is the best short show available.
BirdNote – Very short segments about birds and conservation. Enjoyable, though hard to keep up with (a show a day)!
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May is a special time of year for birders. Spring migration season is exciting and fast paced in a way which Fall migration is not.
This time around, there were some disappointing misses. I was never at Pelee during a true warbler “fallout”. I missed the two Cuckoo species and a number of warbler species I was hoping to find. My shorebird counts were dismal. The Essex lagoons were lacking mudflats, and consequently the shorebird turnout there was very sparse. These gripes notwithstanding, this was a fantastic May. I saw 137 species this month (last May it was 97) and 9 lifers. Now my Essex County year total is at 181, only 19 species away from my goal!
Two Snowy Owls in the town of Essex were still showing at the beginning of the month. Imagine that! May Snowy Owl sightings within five minutes of my house!!! A year ago, I would have never guessed! I hope to add one to my June list, but who knows?
I had some fantastic warbler hauls at various “lesser” migration hotspots such as Sadler’s Pond and Malden Park. As usual during Spring migration, on a good day these smaller hotspots were superb in warbler diversity.
I ended up getting out to Point Pelee twice. The first time was an active day a little too early in the season. The second day was a slow day a little too late in the season. Neither day lived up to Point Pelee’s potential. However, a slow day in May at Pelee, is quite active! A major highlight was getting to bird with some excellent local birders including Jeremy Bensette, Tim Arthur, Jeremy Hatt, and Rick Mayos. You learn so much by birding with these fine folks!
My lifers this month were:
- Grey-cheeked Thrush (May 2–Point Pelee)
- Prothonotary Warbler (May 2–Point Pelee)
- Marbled Godwit (May 2–Hillman Marsh)
- Sora (May 7–Spring Garden)
- Cape May Warbler (May 10–Sadler’s Pond)
- Black Scoter (May 19–Point Pelee)
- Acadian Flycatcher (May 19–Point Pelee)
- Willow Flycatcher (May 19–Point Pelee)
- Cattle Egret (May 22–Point Pelee)
I’m a bit sad that May migration is already over, but it was fun while it lasted. Now we march on to Fall migration! 🙂
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