Author Archives: johnnybirder

SNOWY OWL!!!!! (and other birds near Seattle WA)

The essence of a megatick is to experience a moment that money can’t buy. Megaticks therefore typically require the chaser to go well beyond the usual birding norms. And that is exactly how I felt when I saw my first Snowy … Continue reading

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First casual, then blizzard birding: mid-winter in Istanbul

(with contributions by Lesley Starke) During my annual trip to South Africa, it has become customary to first find the cheapest plane ticket, and thereafter see how I can maximize my lifelist gains. This year took me through Istanbul in … Continue reading

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A day on the Great Ocean Road, with a little taste of Melbourne

Many thanks to Jan and Nerine Erasmus for hosting and making my trip so enjoyable (it was great seeing you both!), and the members of CEED for making me feel welcome at their awesome conference. Despite the rivalry between Australia … Continue reading

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Migration Fallout!!!! in the Florida Keys

End 2010 I started working with the USFWS to design a monitoring protocol for the federally endangered Miami Blue butterfly. This butterfly was historically restricted to the coastal areas of southern Florida, but through habitat loss its range has declined … Continue reading

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Tricky bleached Glaucous-winged Gulls!

Update, Oct 1, 2015: Then there are individuals like this Mew Gull, also seen in the Bay area, which seems more leucistic than bleached. Or maybe just the primaries are bleached? Who knows. During our July trip to the Bay Area, … Continue reading

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Mid-summer birding in Northern California

(with contributions by Lesley Starke) It’s always exciting when friends tie the knot. It’s even more exciting when the reception is at an exciting (read birding) destination. This about sums the situation when my friends Scott Loarie and Jessica Yarnall … Continue reading

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South-western USA birding in late March

My long-time birding friend Duan Biggs happens to find reasons to travel to the USA on a near-annual basis. Those reasons will of course diminish as Duan’s North American birdlist grows. But until then, I’ll be sure to clean my … Continue reading

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Mixing work and birding in Northern Ireland/England

Though it may not be that obvious from reading this blog, the reality is that I do sometimes work to make a living, currently mainly revolving around finishing a PhD. To keep me sane through this process, I maintain some ‘academic baggage’ … Continue reading

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Puerto Montt Storm-petrels a new species!

So yes, there we have it. The Puerto Montt storm-petrels I wrote about a while ago, turned out to be a new species. Originally found by two birders from Oregon, the (new) species status of the storm-petrels off Chile was … Continue reading

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Summer 2010 in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

For any twitcher, the first step to amass a decent world-list is to make sure you build a sizeable lifelist at home. My formative years in southern Africa was rather productive in this regard, as birder friends frequently invited me on … Continue reading

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