Saturday, November 15, 2008

We're on a road trip to.........

Yes, thats right, we're on a road trip to PANAMA!!!!

Later this morning, Oregonian birder Colin Woolley, fellow Brit birder Matt Slaymaker and I are leaving Long Point to drive back to Colins place in Portland, Oregon, from there Matt and I going to peel off (Colin has a job, boooo!) and the current plan is to head down South along the Pacific coast, and travel down through Central America, probably as far as Panama before flying home sometime early next year, depending on jobs, finances and crappy real-world stuff like that.

It has the potential to be a birding trip of epic proportions, and even if it doesnt wrok out as planned we should have an awesome time, and should see some spectacular birds.

We have 10 days to get to Portland from here, so the current idea is to 'properly book it' through the boring middle part to Colorado and then take our time birding back up through the Rockies, hopefully picking up some quality moutainish stuff like Rosy-finches, and Nutcrackers, and maybe some grousey/chickeney things.

It feels wierd to be leaving Long Point, i've been here almost 3 months and had a fantastic time. I've learnt more about birds during my time here than over any other 3 month period during my birding life, apart from the very beginning obviously, and had the opportunity to study some really cool birds close up.
Highlights have been many, and include catching a Great Blue Heron in a net strung up over a pond to catch Snipe (quite possibly the only time i'll ever handle such a dangerous bird), stumbling across the first Boreal Owl (Tengmalm's for all you crazy Europeans) for Long Point, while tape-luring Northern Saw-whet Owls into nets, a dazzling variety of new world wood warblers, even though most were in comparitively grotty fall plumage there were still plenty of gems, catching 6 Cave Swallows over 2 days (only one has been banded in Canada before) including one that I caught in the Heligoland trap, and banding a variety of raptors, the best of which was a stunning adult Red-tailed Hawk, caught on the last day of banding at The Tip.

Anyway, I really ought to pack my stuff up and work out how we're going to make it through USA border control later today.

I hope to be updating this blog fairly frequently as we make our merry way down South, and i'll try and get pictures up as often as I can.

Oh, and if anyone has any good birding gen for the Rockies over the next few days, or for anywhere else between Portland and Panama, particularly for California, please do e-mail me at, any help will be much appreciated!!!


Anonymous said...


Glad you enjoyed Long Point


Paul said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi Joe

Not sure if Stu or Yousif will be able to reach you by email. There are some questions about the origin of the Cave Swallow in the photos here on your blog. It may well be Caribbean rather than the Mexican/Texas subspecies. If you get a chance at email in your travels could you send us all of the photos that you have of this bird? Thank you.

Enjoy your trip.


Anonymous said...

Great Banding !! Joe. Go for it!! Hope Im still going when you eventually get back!!!
Only 2500 at PBO but good Kinglets and a Grey C T!.

Enjoy your travels, may see you sometime,
All best wishes,

Ancient Pete Morgan.

ps If you return ringing available!