Jul 5, 2009

The Cape of Cod

Hi folks!

Sorry for the lack of posts recently-I guess I've had too much fun birding! I got out of school on May 29th (pretty early isn't it) and played around a bit and of course birded!

I went on a big banding trip to the Burrow Mountains in southwest New Mexico with my young birder friends Raymond and Michael to band Yellow-eyed Juncos and that was a great experience! I think we banded 2 or 3 Yellow-eyed Juncos and a bunch of other stuff! A cool thing with the juncos we were banding was that they were hybrids so some of them had brown eyes! We did get one classic YEJU that had the bright yellow eye-almost orange. I didn't get any pictures of banding but I might be able to get them from some other people who were on the trip.

Besides from that banding trip I went on a couple of Audubon trips. One was to Villanueva State Park which is southwest of Las Vegas. We didn't see much; Yellow-breasted Chats and a nesting pair of Red-tails. The Red-tails were awesome though, I got tons of pics and will get them on this blog ASAP. I saw the parents feed the babies a lizard and a mouse----pretty cool! About two weeks after the Villanueva trip we (my mom, my sister, our dog Zia and I) packed up our tiny little Prius and drove to Cape Cod, Massachusetts! It was a bit of a tight fit but we managed. We bought some fireworks for Fourth of July in Missouri (about the last state east of Ohio where you can buy fireworks) and listened to The Hithhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on the way east! The trip took us 4 days and we slept in kinda bad hotels except for the night in Missouri.

We got to Cape Cod on July 1st and the vey next day I went on a fishing trip with two of my uncles. We caught 7 fish altogether (6 Striped Bass and 1 Bluefish) and put all but one the freezer-the other one we baked and had for dinner. Oh the taste of fresh bass...
I've gotten a birding trip in too since we got here. On Saturday the 4th I birded around Race Point with my old bird club leader! We saw about 50 species including 4 lifers for me: Parasitic Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Roseate Tern! Scott (that's my old leader) was especially excited about the 10,00 shearwaters we saw right from the beach! He said that that was the most shearwaters he'd ever seen from shore! We got our feet wet and a little cold but it was all worth it. Our list of species is below. On the night of the 4th we went to a friends house where we could see most of the Cape from their porch! We set off some fireworks and overall had a good time!

Here is the list from Race Point and Hatches Harbor on the trip with Scott:

Red-breasted Merganser (1)

Cory's Shearwater (2,000)

Greater Shearwater (6,000)

Sooty Shearwater (300)

Manx Shearwater (2)

Northern Gannet (1)

Double-crested Cormorant (3)

Green Heron (1)

Turkey Vulture (3)

Red-tailed Hawk (1)

Piping Plover (1)

Parasitic Jaeger (2)

Long-tailed Jaeger (1)

Laughing Gull (1,000)

Bonaparte's Gull (200)

Ring-billed Gull (2,000)

Herring Gull (500)

Iceland Gull (3)

Lesser Black-backed Gull (4)

Great Black-backed Gull (50)

Black-legged Kittiwake (5)

Royal Tern (1)

Roseate Tern (3)

Common Tern (1,000)

Artic Tern (20)

Least Tern (30)

Black Tern (1)

Eastern Kingbird (1)

Blue Jay (5)

American Crow (5)

Carolina Wren (2)

American Robin (3)

Gray Catbird (20)

Northern Mockingbird (6)

Cedar Waxwing (2)

Common Yellowthroat (1)

Eastern Towhee (4)

Song Sparrow (1)

Red-winged Blackbird (5)

Common Grackle (15)

Baltimore Oriole (2)

House Finch (3)

Pine Siskin (3)

American Goldfinch (5)

House Sparrow (10)

Mar 28, 2009

Long Time No Post!

Hello people! I'm terribly sorry that I haven't posted in 2 months and that I haven't even looked at my own blog for a month. This time I'm not saying (like last time I said "I'm sorry" on a post) I was busy, or something hollow like that. I'll say that I just totally forgot about my blog for the last two months. That's not being hollow and unsincere, is it? My lack of posts have certainly not been because nothing interesting has been happening in my life; on the contrary my life has been very interesting these past two months in which I have neglected my blog. Since I last posted I have been to Cave Creek Canyon, Arizona twice, taught a bird class to middle school students, and have done 2 months at Rio Gallinas Charter School in Las Vegas, NM. I've had plenty of things to post about; going to Cave Creek Canyon, teaching bird identification to 12 and 13 year olds, and how living in New Mexico is like for a 14 year old birder.

Well, lets get started with confessions and news alerts. The first thing I have to say is that living out in remote northern New Mexico is pretty fun! I have Lewis's Woodpeckers and Spotted Towhees at my feeders and I have been on several bird trips with Central New Mexico Audubon Society throughout New Mexico. I've met several other young birders in the Albuquerque area who have done several excursions with me and have gotten me into keeping a list of NM birds I see. Birding has probably kept me sane; I've gotten rather frustrated with my school and I've been kept from birding by other things (tests, workouts, and other oddments that I do not need to go into detail about).

I have been practicing digiscoping with my camera and scope and am getting better results then two months ago (obviously!). I have some tips for anyone who is interested in digiscoping or is looking for help in the activity. You can email me at casseagle@gmail.com or just read this post! (Digiscoping tips are at the end of this post).

Like I said at the beginning of this charming post, I've been to Portal twice these past couple months. I went once in late January for my 14th B-day and once on my spring break (March 9th-15th). I did not see the bird I've been looking for for a year; the Elegant Trogon, but I did see lots other birds. On both visits I saw Blue-throated Hummingbird and Hutton's Vireo and on the March visit I saw Ash-throated and Vermillion Flycathcers. In March it is not peak season, but it is still pretty good birding down there. I might be going down there in April which will be very birdy.

Touching apon a subject which I believe I have never posted about is my two breeding budgies, Coco and Verde. I got them at a bird store in Santa Fe called Feathered Friends in September and paid about $18.50 for each of them. They mated in early January and laid their eggs in February. Unfortunnately, only two of the four chicks hatched (that is common in budgies) and that was that. The two chicks are about 10 days old now and are beginning to grow in their down and primary feathers! They can not yet even support thier little necks that much and support eachother in their little nest box! The currently unnamed chicks will fledge when they are about 4-5 weeks old and will be independent at around 6-7 weeks! I will keep you updated on the antics of my little fluffballs and anounce the big day (fledgling day)!

I think that I have bored you enough, so its Hasta Luego for now!


Jan 1, 2009


Sorry about lack of posts during the holidays, we had 12 people over for Christmas and its been kinda crazy.

Well anyway, there was certainly a big highlight on X-mas! I already have a Swarovski 65mm scope and I have been wanting to start digiscoping. Well, I got a 50mm Nikkor lens for our Nikon and a DCA camera adapter from my mom and dad!! I have a Nikon D80 and a 300mm zoom lens which I use for bird shots. My mom had been researching and a lot of folks said that the Nikon 50mm Nikkor lens was the best choice for digiscoping. So far its been GREAT! I've been taking pics of the birds in our yard and have got some pretty good ones.

Well aside from that I'm doing the Christmas Bird Count on Saturday with a birder from Santa Fe! I think that I may be live-streaming on a radio station that day at 10:10 mountain time!

One question:

Do you think that I should delete my trip list and start a new one or just ad to my trip list?

Anyway, here are some of my digiscoping pics:

Home in New Mexico!

Home in New Mexico!
Las Vegas

Common Black Hawk

Common Black Hawk
Rio Lagartos, Yucatan

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl

Pale-billed Woodpecker

Pale-billed Woodpecker
Kalakmul ruins

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk
In my backyard-Las Vegas,NM

Me on Hermit's Peak

Me on Hermit's Peak
Las Vegas, New Mexico

Zia Being Cute

Zia Being Cute