BwBTC: Birding With Friends

by John Briggs on June 15, 2009

in Bird Photography Weekly, Blog, Weekend Birding


Several months ago, Dawn Fine from Dawn’s Bloggy Blog started a group on Facebook called Birders Who Blog, Tweet and Chirp. It’s like one stop shopping to find birders who own a blog, use Twitter and or ChirpTracker. This past Saturday, thanks to the efforts of Dawn and Christopher from Picus Blog, New England Birders who Blog, Tweet and Chirp had an outing at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island in Massachusetts.

New England BwBTC | Click photo for larger view

New England BwBTC | Click for photo larger view

Everyone met at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge headquarters. After introductions and several group photos, we car pooled and headed out to the refuge at 8:30 a.m.  That is everyone except Andy who had some car trouble. You may read his story at Nature Potpourri. Our leader was Christopher Ciccone, who I must say done an excellent job of leading our group.

The morning was beautiful with clear blue skies and comfortable temperatures. Our first stop was the parking area just after the entrance gate. Nesting Purple Martins were seen and photographed and then it was off to the beach. Sections of the beach are closed this time of the year to protect nesting Piping Plovers.

We wanted to meet with Janet Egan of Plover Warden Diaries at Sandy Point Reservation but the parking areas were full because of a fishing derby. Janet joined us later at the Hellcat Swamp.

I did not keep track of the birds that I saw on this outing. We did see Brown Thrashers, Snowy and Great Egrets, several Warbler species, a Marsh Wren (life bird for my wife Sharon!), Red-winged Blackbirds everywhere, Kingbirds, several Sparrow species, Swallows, Kingbirds, Flycatchers, Cedar Waxwings, Mute Swans, Orioles, Hummingbirds, Bobolinks and much more.

Beach closed for nesting Piping Plovers | Click photo for larger view

Beach closed for nesting Piping Plovers | Click photo for larger view

Around one o’clock, we headed off the refuge and went into Newburyport for lunch. We stopped at Courtyard Roast Beef and Sub and I had one of the best roast beef sandwiches that I have ever had. A sesame seed bun with piles of roast beef and just a touch of horseradish sauce… YUMMY!

After the meal, we all headed to Newmarket, NH to check out the nesting site of a Mississippi Kite. Although a female was on the nest, it was very hard to see. The male never showed up. I did see the eye and part of the head and tail of the female. Sharon and I added this bird to our life list!

We hated to do it, but late afternoon was upon us and we had a long ride home. After being on the road and birding for nearly 14 hours, Sharon and I were tired. We wished everyone safe travels and made promises to do another outing next year.

Sharon and I had an excellent time with fellow birders during this outing. We will surely miss everyone and will be counting the days until we can meet up with our birding friends once again. Everyone was so kind and helpful. We will always cherish the time we spent with these folks and wish them all all the best!

Dawn and Jeff from Dawn’s Bloggy Blog
Christopher from Picusblog
Laura and Mark from Interstitial Spaces
Bev from Behind the Bins
Catie from A Birding Girl
Janet Egan from Plover Warden Diaries
Andy from Natures Potpourri
Sharon from A New England Life
Lauren from A Worn Field Guide
Dan from Nature Observances
Steve from Shooting My Universe
Amanda from The Fledgling Birder
Mark from strack16
Thanks Dawn for the list!

Now onto the pictures! As always, clicking a thumbnail will bring up a larger view.

The Birds and The Birders


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