Athena’s update from the field – Godwit Days

Surfbird digiscoped at Godwit Days

Surfbird digiscoped at Godwit Days

We’ve been hearing great reports back from our colleague David La Puma currently attending the Godwit Days bird festival in Arcata, CA. Arcata sits at the northern end of California. It’s rocky shores are great for the “rock pipers” like Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, and Surfbirds which Athena has seen. It also is in the heart of Redwood country and the towering wet coniferous forests play host to many unique bird and wildlife species as well. We can look forward to detailed reports soon.

Black Turnstone digiscoped during Godwit Days

Black Turnstone digiscoped during Godwit Days

At present though with a full day of birding left at Godwit Days, Athena’s year list total stands at 339 species. Next week she will move to the Gulf Coast of Texas, for the incredible American Birding Association Convention in Corpus Christi, TX. The central gulf coast of Texas is a magical place, resident specialty species like Least Grebes & Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls occur, colonial wading birds like Roseate Spoonbills abound here as well, and being the heart of migration with the right winds anything could drop in front of us.

Least Grebe digiscoped in Corpus Christi 2009

Least Grebe digiscoped in Corpus Christi 2009

In 2009 the ABA convention in Corpus tallied more birdspecies than any other ABA Convention! We can’t wait to see what this year holds. We fully suspect that the list will break 400 species in this incredibly birdy area, especially with some of the the amazingly talented birders here that will be carrying Athena for us (are you ready Jen Brumfield & Tom Johnson?)

Roseate Spoonbills digiscoped at ABA Convention 2009

Roseate Spoonbills digiscoped at ABA Convention 2009

Should the winds not be quite right though and we miss a migrant or two, no worries the next stop on Athena’s agenda following the ABA convention is one of the most amazing bird spectacles in the world. The Biggest Week in American Birding is an event built around an amazing spectacle of migration that likely is unmatched anywhere in North America. Trees and bushes positively drip with brilliantly-colored neotropical migrants, one of the most popular being the throngs of colorful warbler species. Dubbed the Warbler Capital of the World, the spectacle invariably lives up to the hype. It is a certainty that Athena will be well on her way toward the 500 species mark following this amazing event!

BWIAB Note – despite an amazing run of 613 species seen in 2013, Travis the Traveling Trinovid had only tallied 344 species by the time the Biggest Week ended. Athena is on a roll!