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May 2010: Retrospecticus

May 31, 2010

Spring gradually rolls into summer and for birders, as the excitement of migration tapers off to the day to day business of raising the next generation of birds, we pause to reflect on the progress of our own year.  For better or for worse.

That said, this past month was an exciting one at The Drinking Bird, and I’m thrilled that you all were here to share it with me.

Most exciting was the arrival of my new camera, and the subsequent breaking in of said camera has added an extra lever of excitement to my field time this month.

Oh, and my wife returned, with another take on that very situation.

The National Park Service released its draft impact statement for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, one a bit too deferential to ORV users, but even though they tried to push it through with a short comment period, several thousand people let them know that non-ORV user deserve at least as much of the beach too.  Thanks so much to those of you who helped!

I considered what it means to be a “good” birder, and decided humility and experience have a lot to do with it, and broke down the Red-eyed Vireo, thanks to a particularly nice individual at my local patch.

Most of this month had to do with thoughts about the sea though, when I got out on a pelagic to the gulf stream out of Hatteras and found lots of fantastic pelagic birds, like Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, and exciting marine mammals.

But the ocean most on our minds these days has been the Gulf of Mexico which, I don’t know if you heard, is going through kind of a tough time.  And there’s plenty of fault to go around, not least of which the frustrating lax attitude of our regulatory agencies prior to the disaster.

Which means we’ll probably have to start coming to terms with the extinction, at least on the local level, of a frighteningly large number of species, much like the recent announcement of the loss of the Alaotra Grebe of Madagascar.

The summer is typically a slower time on this blog for some reason, but I’ll keep you up to date with the latest in Drinking Birdery.  Thanks for reading!


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