The early (or not) birder gets a lifer!

I am SO excited…and not just because my book will be out in 4 months. I have a new lifer bird sighting. This handsome fellow showed up at our feeder and has been hanging out for several days now.


Harris’s Sparrows don’t normally occur in our range (Indiana):

so you can imagine our excitement when it showed up one day like it had always been around and owns the town.

blurry iPhone-through-binocs photo…House Finch to the left

We aren’t the only ones to be excited. After reporting to eBirds, a number of other birders trekked out to our house, with our permission, and were rewarded with a sighting of this obliging bird.

dated and time-stamped evidence on the DSLR

We used to be thrilled about seeing the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks show up during migration, but the Harris’s Sparrow has totally upstaged them. 🙂 Hearing and seeing warblers and vireos return have also been a treat!

The holidays, NYC edition: part 3 – miscellany

Sometimes the best parts of a trip are the unplanned and unexpected ones.

beautiful Christmas decorations on Roosevelt Island
the fun tram ride over to Manhattan
waving at the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry…didn’t see Spiderman though
overlooking nighttime Manhattan from the Roosevelt Island tram
visited Columbia University campus and forgot to see the Physics Dept where the subject of my picture book biography (out from Sterling Publishing in the fall) worked for many years
people went nuts over the non-native escapee Mandarin Duck at Central Park but fail to appreciate the equally beautiful, and native, Buffleheads
view from Central Park
subway art…guess the story!
we had no idea that a flock of Monk Parakeets had established themselves on Long Island; the last time we saw a flock was in Chicago (also escapees)
an interesting ruin on Roosevelt Island
squirrel sunning itself on a ledge of the abandoned smallpox hospital
the UN where Batman and Robin had to save the delegates who’d been dehydrated into cubes…LOL!
Brants – another exciting bird variety for us
a panorama of Roosevelt Island (at the southern end) where our generous friends let us use their apartment over the holidays

It was overall a wonderful trip to get a good taste of NYC for me since it was only the second time I’d ever been there.

I hope your holidays were just as good!