Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jan 2 (Day 2) - White out, Biking for Birds appears in the USA Today!

Well, the snow and associated bad weather arrived with a vengeance today. The roads were a complete disaster, and the winds were from the northeast at a steady 20-25mph. Given that strong winds can often blow pelagic species such as dovekie and black-legged kittiwake towards the shore, I figured I would walk down to some of the same areas I birded by bike yesterday to see what I could find. This was an 8-mile walk with binoculars, scope/tripod, and camera.

Let me save you any suspense: I found nothing. In short, today was the price I paid for yesterday's black-headed gull. Although I had hoped that the snow might let up a bit during the day, it was a near whiteout as I reached the beach. The temperature was around 8F, and when the wind was factored, it was well below 0F. How cold was it? It was almost as cold as Tony Romo in the 4th quarter of a December Dallas Cowboys game. Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all year.....(that's more than I can say for the Cowboys)

However, today was not as totally bleak as these photos might suggest. My hosts here in Salisbury have a very well-maintained feeder array in their backyard. The continual bird traffic on both the seed and suet feeders allowed me to add 12 species to my growing list. These birds brought the 2-day total to 51. There is a lot more snow coming in the next day. It is completely possible that I could be stuck here for 3-4 days. This is the price I will have to pay for getting these tough winter birds. It's 27 miles to Gloucester, my next destination; Once the road is clear, I can start the move south to Cape Ann. 

Also, I was yesterday interviewed and photographed for a piece that appeared today in the USA Today online version. The article, which discusses the growing popularity of bird watching, will appear in the printed version this upcoming weekend. A link to the online version can be found here. A sidebar that contains a bit more of the interview I gave the paper can be found here.

Tomorrow could be a bit rough. Hopefully I'll have something for you at some point during the day!


  1. You are off to a great start species-wise Dorian, well done. 51 in two days is awesome! The travelling sounds tough but then, if it was easy, everyone would do it!
    Good luck and stay safe.

  2. Your comments about the Cowboys remind me of this classic exchange:
    "That really hurts."
    "Can you deny it?"
    "No. That's why it hurts."


  3. Taking some jabs at the poor cowboys I see. Very funny. Safe travels man. Stay warm.