June started off really slow from a digiscoping perspective. I got married on June 7th and was busy preparing and winding down from that. The first I opportunity I had to digiscope came during my honeymoon in Aruba. Actually, all of my Phone Skope Big Year additions in June came from Aruba. Here are a few highlights.
Tropical Mockingbird was the first species I digiscoped in Aruba. Mockingbirds were extremely common around the resort and sadly, this was the only time I attempted to digiscope one.
I saw White-cheeked Pintails on two occasions, both at Bubali Bird Sanctuary. I had six adults on June 24th and a family group on the 28th.
There were numerous plovers scattered across the island – Killdeer, Black-bellied Plover, Collared Plover, and Semipalmated Plover. I snagged the first July eBird record of Collared Plover, so I was pretty stoked about that.
I was fortunate to see a few Southern Lapwings on the island as well. The traditional spot, the Tierra del Sol Golf Course, was dried up, but I had them on two occasions, once at Bubali Bird Sanctuary and again at the Aruba Salina. Lapwings are some of the strangest looking shorebirds I’ve ever seen. That goes for both Northern and Southern.
I’ll end with arguably my best digiscoped photo of the trip. This Gray Kingbird teed up in the rain at Bubali Bird Sanctuary about ten meters away.
I added 26 species to my Phone Skope Big Year list in Aruba for a grand total of 128 species at the end of June. Remember my goal is 200 species for the year. July proves to be slow because I’m catching up on research, but I should tear it up in August when I’m back in Delaware. I would like to thank Phone Skope for supplying me with a digiscoping setup and Ben Lizdas and Eagle Optics for lending me a Vortex Razor HD spotting scope for the year.
Check out my full Phone Skope Big Year Gallery.
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