Whimbrel at Somerset Lake (AGAIN!)

Andy McGannBird News, Birding, General News and Info, Migration, Photography, Rarities, ScienceLeave a Comment

Lightning struck a second time today at Somerset Lake IBA. After work, Mike Lanzone and Jeff Payne stopped by the lake, hoping for a White-rumped Sandpiper or maybe even a Red Knot. They were both shocked to find a WHIMBREL instead. This Arctic-to-Caribbean-and-back migrant is a powerful flier, and research by the Center for Conservation Biology has tracked Whimbrels regularly … Read More

The Final Longspur

Alex LamoreauxChase, RaritiesLeave a Comment

I’ve grown up seeing a few Lapland Longspurs each winter, sprinkled into Horned Lark flocks in the farmland of Pennsylvania. This past summer I was able to spend some quality time in the midwestern prairies, and was fortunate to see both Chestnut-collared and McCown’s Longspurs on their breeding grounds. That left me with one final longspur species to see in … Read More

The Thousand Mile Chase

a guest bloggerBird Sightings, Birding, Chase, RaritiesLeave a Comment

This post comes from Matt Sabatine, who recently had the chance to bird from Pennsylvania to Nova Scotia, where some great birds have been reported recently. The reliable duo of rarities in Nova Scotia was just too good to resist. A EURASIAN KESTREL has been hanging out in the area of Hartlen Point outside Halifax, Nova Scotia since December, and a FIELDFARE has been … Read More

White-winged Dove – Kent County, Delaware

Alex LamoreauxChase, Rarities1 Comment

This past Tuesday morning Brian McCaffrey spotted a White-winged Dove among the Mourning Doves in his Kent County, Delaware backyard! This is only the 8th record for the state of Delaware, and the 1st for Kent County. The dove remained in and around the yard, mostly sunning itself and trying to stay warm, at one point avoiding a hungry Cooper’s … Read More

Gyrfalcon Invasion 2015

Alex Lamoreauxdistribution, Featured, Rarities6 Comments

As many people are aware of, starting with the winter of 2012/2013, Snowy Owls staged a dramatic and widespread invasion into southern Canada and the northeastern United States, with the biggest numbers during December to February. Gyrfalcons, the other massive arctic raptor, also pushed further south and in larger numbers than usual that winter. Sightings of these almost mythical falcons … Read More

Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrows in PA

Alex Lamoreauxdistribution, Featured, Identification, photo study, Ranges and Distributions, Rarities2 Comments

After having a great opportunity to study an adult Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) at Arlene Koch’s property last weekend near Easton, while also enjoying the immature Harris’s Sparrow there, I was interested to learn more about this western subspecies’ history in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic. Gambel’s White-crowneds are essentially the western-Canadian counterpart of our more familiar Eastern birds … Read More

Harris’s Sparrow and ‘Gambel’s’ White-crowned Sparrow

Alex LamoreauxBird Sightings, Chase, Featured, RaritiesLeave a Comment

Arlene Koch’s famous backyard habitat near Easton, PA which has lured in countless uncommon, unusual, and rare birds over the years is currently hosting a first winter Harris’s Sparrow as well as an adult ‘Gambel’s’ White-crowned Sparrow! I was able to make a quick stop by her house this past Sunday and was happy to get great views of both … Read More

Thayer’s Gull – Daytona Beach Shores, Florida

Tim SchreckengostRaritiesLeave a Comment

The gull spectacle at Daytona Beach Shores in Volusia County, Florida, is talked about across the country and especially here at the Space Coast Birding Festival. Drew and I have seen reports of Thayer’s, Iceland, and Glaucous Gulls in the area, so we decided to check it out. We arrived on sight around 4:30, drove onto the beach, and saw … Read More

Winter Kingbirds of NYC

Alex LamoreauxChase, Featured, Rarities1 Comment

Remarkably both a Couch’s and Cassin’s Kingbird have taken up residence less than 15 miles apart from each other in New York City, and are so far successfully overwintering despite the strange, urban locations they are living in. The Couch’s is being seen around Washington Commons Park in the West Village and was first reported to birders on December 25th, but local, … Read More

Barnacle Geese – Weir Lake, Monroe County, PA

Alex LamoreauxChase, Featured, Identification, photo study, RaritiesLeave a Comment

It’s not often that Barnacle Geese show up in Pennsylvania, in fact there have been less than 20 instances of this beautiful goose in the state, but they are on the increase throughout the northeast and every winter more and more are discovered among flocks of Canada Geese as more birders get out there looking. Typically a sighting here in … Read More