Fall Plans

Seriously, it’s already the end of August?  Where the heck did the summer go?  It feels like shorebird season just started, and now here I am checking the radar nightly as fall songbird migration heats up.  Goldfinches are eating seed heads in the perennial gardens, hummingbirds are molting and tanking up (many males have already departed), and biting insects are at a minimum.  As much as I love late August – and autumn is my favorite season – it’s always a little bittersweet to let summer slip away.

In most years, by the end of August I have combed through flocks of roosting peeps at Biddeford Pool or strained to see distant mudflats at Pine Point at least a dozen times.  I can’t believe Sunday was actually my first visit to Biddeford Pool on a high tide all summer!  This week isn’t helping either, with a visit to Massachusetts these past two days and some New Hampshire birding with a friend tomorrow.  In other words, I have been busy – wicked busy even!  This is by no means a complaint, however, just a statement – and an excuse as to why I never did find a Red-necked Stint for Maine this summer.

What is normally a “slower” season for me was anything but, and now, with September right around the corner, I am about to get even busier!  I have a trip to the Upper Midwest in October to speak at the Iowa Ornithologists Union Fall Meeting and the UrbanEcologyCenter in Milwaukee with some birding and visiting with friends in between.  I’ll be talking to New Hampshire Audubon in October as well, and I will be helping out Leica Sports Optics at the Cape Cod Birding Festival next month.

In between, I hope to spend as much time as possible at SandyPoint.  Keep an eye on the store’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/freeportwildbird) for my Morning Flight counts.  I’ll post the occasional significant flight report and corresponding radar analysis here, but most counts will just get posted directly to the FB page (as a “public” business page, it functions as a regular website; no need to “be on” FB to view).

SandyPoint at sunrise is probably my favorite place to be in the fall, but MonheganIsland is a very close second.  Actually, it’s probably a tie.  I wish I could be at both almost every morning all season long!  And speaking of Monhegan, I still have spaces on my “MonhegZEN Birding Fall Migration Weekend” tour, September 27through 30th.  It’s a “per diem” tour, so you can join me for anywhere between one and four days of birding at this amazing place.

In preparation of what is likely to be a whirlwind fall for me, I have updated our website with all of my events, programs, and tours on a newly-expanded “Tours, Events, Workshops, and Programs” page at http://www.freeportwildbirdsupply.com.  There you’ll find more information about the MonhegZEN Birding Weekend tour, and all of my programs for the coming months.  We’ve also started to finalize plans for an exciting 2014, including everything from our “Woodcocks Gone Wild” evening walk to a two-week tour to the Russian Far East.  More Monhegan, our now-annual trip with the Schooner Lewis R. French, and much, much more is now posted, with details rapidly being filled in.

So whether it’s in Iowa, the parking lot at SandyPoint, or on MonheganIsland, I hope to see you this fall.  And if you happen to have a cup of bird-friendly coffee handy, I will probably need it!

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