Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nothing New

Just getting excited to get over to France and start birding.  This picture on Wiki by Martin Mecnarowski was just way too cute to pass up.  Hopefully this is one species I'll have a chance of seeing, the Bearded Reedling.  It looks like a Tit but is apparently more closely related to larks. 

Here's my book!  Organized a bit differently than the standard US field guides so I added some quick tabs to easily get to the group I am looking for.  22 Tabs.... that's not a lot or anything. *eyeroll*  There's also my quick eBird list for Brittany aka. Bretagne!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Before heading to Europe I realized that I have been slacking on keeping my CT year list up to date!  In case you forgot (or dont read my blog all the time), I'm challenging my friend Heather in Oregon to a birding challenge.  Who will get the most species in there respective state for the year. 

My list, over there on the right had been hanging out at 60 species even though I have been out, I swear!  Well, before I get carried away with all the European birds I'm about to see and hopefully blog about, I wanted to update my CT bird list!!!  yup I'm up to about 160 species.  That's probably about 100 species under what's been seen in the state so far.  I'll have to start chasing harder when I get back to CT. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

France 2012 Prep

Chartes Cathedral- wiki photo

In a few days I will be setting foot in France for the first time in my life.  A small group of friends and myself have decided to go see the Olympics in London this year and a stop in France at a friends family house will take up the first week of our trip.  After a quick stop in Chartres to see the Tour de France, we will head further west out to Brittany.  The exact town we are staying in is still beyond my knowledge but the general area will be near Quimper. 

We have no set plans for our time in Bretagne (Brittany) and I plan on doing some birding!  and maybe some blogging.  This is my first time going to Europe with a pair of binoculars and the time set aside to do some birding.  My Christmas present this year was a copy of the Birds of Europe and after a few months of lazy studying I put the book down.  Now with days to go I am kicking myself for not putting in more effort but here illustrates my true nature of being a bird watcher/ observer as opposed to a true tick-er. 

To maximize my study time ( I still have packing to do of course), I have turned to eBird for some help.  The birding observations in this area of France are very limited, from what I can poke through it looks like there are maybe 5 checklists in total for the 50 mile radius of Quimper.  At least one of those is an older checklist from 1980 and the others seem to be quick lists.  Still it's enough to use the "Explore Data" feature and churn out the following bar chart for the months of July and August. 

My plan is to use this condensed list of 135 species to cram in the next few days and on the 6-hour flight.  With any luck, I will come home with LOTS of pictures, a few interesting stories, and some more data to feed into eBird.  More data will not only give some more info as to what is actually in the area but may be a baseline for future species expansions and declines.  At the very least it will give someone else making a trip to the area a better idea of what birds they may encounter on their trip.  Wish me luck!