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Wildlife Watching


PABirder

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Galapagos without a doubt!

 

Well, actually Sanibel/Captiva Island offshore from Ft. Myers, Florida, is the second best place we've been to for wildlife. Eagles, manatees, dolphin that come right up to your boat, osprey, heron and egret of many varieties, brown and white pelicans, alligators, you name it. We've been going there for about 30 years.

 

We were disappointed in Alaska both times. We did get to see Orcas in Victoria, Canada, and bears fishing for salmon in a stream near Ketchikan. We had to take a float plane inland to see that. We went in July one time and August the second. Perhaps it was just the time of year??? In Denali we saw something like 3 elk, a couple Dahl sheep and that was about it. We did see a few eagles and a few whales. We've spent about $2000 on fishing and have never caught a decent salmon.

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Gooch,

 

Re: Alaska - it is very location (i.e. Inside Passage/ excursions/Alaskan interior), weather, season, and time dependent. I was there in 1990 in June/July and saw many more of the things I saw this time (eagles, caribou, sea otters, horned puffins, harbor seals) and saw things I didn't see this time around (hummingbirds, violet-green swallows, Arctic groundsquirrels, and marmots). However, I saw more grizzlies/brownies this time around. Also, saw humpbacks, orcas, a Tundra red-backed vole, Stellars sea lions, and tufted puffins this time around (which I didn't see last time).

 

I've also been to Captiva/Sanibel and definitely like it for wildlife (especially Ding Darling NWR) but I felt that the Everglades were a bit better. Over all, I found either Yellowstone NP and Costa Rica great for overall wildlife diversity.

 

And one of these days - Galapagos for sure!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sanibel Island is where I first started birding, and we still try to spend at least a few days there every year.

 

We have had a wonderful fall migration so far, with large numbers of passerines along the shores of lake superior, as well as some interesting shorebirds (nothing like Delaware bay, however!). We are expecting a big change in the weather later this week, so perhaps we will have some hawks around!

 

I spent several weeks in August visiting family in Germany, but the birding was very slow.

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Wish I could get to Sanibel area more often.

 

Was down the Jersey shore (Cape May) this weekend and did a bit of birding. Beginning to see black ducks and gadwall, tons of egrets (snowy and great), lotsa osprey, also starting to see warblers (especially redstarts) At home, been seeing phoebes and peewees. Also noticed the male hummers may have gone for the season - only the females are at the feeders.

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  • 1 month later...

We have had a few interesting birds around Lake Superior lately...yesterday I saw a Sabine's gull and a gyrfalcon from the same spot within a few minutes of one another.

 

There was a green breasted mango hummingbird in southern WI, but it was just a little far for me to chase.

 

We just made final payment on our NCLA Hawaii cruise, and I am still trying to figure out how to fit in a little birding with the sightseeing (and whale watching, of course:D )

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Wow, a green-breasted mango in WI! I had to look it up in my Costa Rica book just to get a look. I'm lucky if I get to see a scarlet tanager (although the ruby-throats did seem to be hanging around the feeders a little longer than last year). Haven't otherwise had a chance to do any birding lately (just the odd red-tail or sharpy in the back yard).

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it is amazing...we are keeping our HB feeders up a little later than usual, just in case!

 

I did find a great (british!) website listing birding and wildlife watching info for Hawaii, and we should be able to see at least a few interesting birds while we are on shore.

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I'm considering going to Jamaica in a few months and have been checking in to the bird situation there. Seems there is a descent variety, just not sure about doing any tours there. Any thoughts?
We were in Ocho for the day last December, and took a tour to the Cranbrook Flower farm with Barrett Adventures. We did not dock until 10am, so the timing was not great, but still managed to see hummingbirds (streamertail and Jamaican Mango), Lizard Cuckoo, thrashers, bananaquit, Jamaican woodpecker, and a number of North American migrants. If you are in the vicinity of Montego Bay you can visit the Rocklands bird sanctuary and hand feed wild hummingbirds...

 

We were happy with Barrett Adventures, as they have a number of standard tours, but also offer specialized birding tours and custom itineraries. I still have to go back someday to try to see a Jamaican Tody.

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We were in Ocho for the day last December, and took a tour to the Cranbrook Flower farm with Barrett Adventures. We did not dock until 10am, so the timing was not great, but still managed to see hummingbirds (streamertail and Jamaican Mango), Lizard Cuckoo, thrashers, bananaquit, Jamaican woodpecker, and a number of North American migrants. If you are in the vicinity of Montego Bay you can visit the Rocklands bird sanctuary and hand feed wild hummingbirds...

 

We were happy with Barrett Adventures, as they have a number of standard tours, but also offer specialized birding tours and custom itineraries. I still have to go back someday to try to see a Jamaican Tody.

 

 

Thanks WW, I will keep that in mind. Would like to see the streamertails and tody. After going to the USVI, I have seen quite a number of bananaquits and thrashers! Any really good areas for snorkeling?

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Thanks WW, I will keep that in mind. Would like to see the streamertails and tody. After going to the USVI, I have seen quite a number of bananaquits and thrashers! Any really good areas for snorkeling?

We did not snorkel on Jamaica, but the water looked really clear and blue

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  • 2 weeks later...
PABirder, if you go to Puerto Rico, there is a company specializing in wildlife observation, specially bird watching.

 

 

Javier, thanks. But right now, I am looking into guides for snorkeling and birding Jamaica.

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PABirder, if you go to Puerto Rico, there is a company specializing in wildlife observation, specially bird watching.
Hi Javier, do you have the name of the compaany? We don't have anything planned for the Caribbean right now, but next time we cruise this area we would like to cruise out of Puerto Rico. I know there are some interesting endemic species to see. We had looked at one Southern Caribbean itinerary that included port stops in Bonair and Trinidad as well.
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  • 1 month later...

We had our local christmas bird count yesterday...a rather slow day within the count circle, but did see a few of our local "specialities" including boreal chickadees, bohemian waxwings, and black backed woodpecker (as well as a Northern Hawk Owl outside the count circle on our way home...our second for the winter so far). We have 3 boreal chickadees on our suet and peanut butter feeders this winter, and they are amazingly tame.

 

Still figuring out the birding and whale watching plans for Hawaii. So far we have signed up for a birding tour at the James Campbell refuge on Oahu and a Pacific Whale ecotour, but we won't have time to fit in both the saddle road and volcanoes National Park; We will hope for an Iiwi somewhere along the way in the Park, or in the highlands of Maui or Kauai.

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Sounds like a good count. Our black-caps are equally as tame. Where most birds will flee most disturbances, chickadees would rather come closer to find out.

 

We are planning a trip to Jamaica in February. Trying to track down a good birding tour guide for the island.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just back from a GREAT cruise on the pride of america (7 day hawaii interisland). LOTS of breaching whales from both ship and shore, as well as spinner dolphins, albatross (laysan and black footed), tropicbirds, boobies...

Lots of sea turtles on and around all the islands, and many wonderful snorkeling locations....

and some great landbirding, with bristle thighed curlew and other shorebirds on Oahu, and good looks a number of Hawaiian honeycreepers (Apapane, I'iwi, Amakihi, Oma'o...) in the highlands of Maui and Kauai and around Volcanoes National Park.

 

If anyone is planning a trip to HI, I can provide specific locations plus contact numbers to gain access to some of the refuges.

 

Hard to come back to MN after such adventure, but my son discovered an American Three-toed woodpecker in our yard (a new yard bird) on the day we returned!

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  • 3 months later...

Was birding along the Delaware Bayshore (Jersey-side) this weekend. Although the tide was excessively high Saturday morning, saw something I never expected - tons of red knots! I haven't seen that many in the last 10 years! Also, saw lots of the usual suspects - herons, egrets, night herons (black-crowned), willets, marsh wrens, whimbrel, yellow-legs, semi-palmated plovers, glossy ibises, and even a great-crested flycatcher.

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Was birding along the Delaware Bayshore (Jersey-side) this weekend. Although the tide was excessively high Saturday morning, saw something I never expected - tons of red knots! I haven't seen that many in the last 10 years! Also, saw lots of the usual suspects - herons, egrets, night herons (black-crowned), willets, marsh wrens, whimbrel, yellow-legs, semi-palmated plovers, glossy ibises, and even a great-crested flycatcher.
That's great news! I miss the Delaware bayshore refuges more than anything else since we moved out to MN....I did make it to Bombay hook for a few hours last summer, but have not been back east in mid-late May for years, as this is the peak of our spring passerine migration here.

 

We did see a lone piping plover on the shore of lake Superior this weekend, as well as a few godwits in a flooded field, but nothing like Delaware Bay!

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  • 1 year later...

I just want to thank very much a new travel agency in Punta Arenas, Chile, the one that seems to be the only one in Patagonia willing to spend some time with birders. We went to several sites in internet but this one was really fantastic! Our guides to the penguin colony at Otway knew not only about birds we were so interested in but also about the flora. Congratulations (check their website at www.patagoniaadventure.cl) We were 7 and they charged US30 per person including the entrance fee! Taxis charge 100!!!!!

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