Upcoming Stuff as of Feb 5 2015

Greetings from Florida! It’s raining this morning and I’ve got a day between guiding and festivals.  It’s also windy here in Ormond Beach, FL with highs in the 60s. Tomorrow is the beginning of the Birds of a Feather Fest in nearby Palm Coast, FL. I have a difficult time keeping up with all my upcoming stuff, and I imagine it’s even harder for you (unless you are one of the 11 die-hard Greg Miller fans who watch every calendar change on this website <grin>).

Upcoming Festivals in 2015:

Feb 6-8 – Birds of a Feather Fest in Palm Coast, FL
http://www.palmcoastgov.com/events/birding-fest

This is the inaugural year for this festival and I am privileged to be a keynote speaker for it.

Feb 13-15 – Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival in Meadowlands, MN
http://sax-zimbog.com/birding-festival/

I can’t wait to go back to THE BOG. Yes, it is take-your-breath-away cold. But the owls will make it all worthwhile.  Two of my favorites are here–the Great Gray Owl and the Northern Hawk Owl.  Throw in some boreal possibilities like Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay, and Pine Grosbeak and now it doesn’t seem so cold. Well. Yes, it does still feel cold, but at least you are going to be one happy camper with these birds.

Apr 24-26 – Wings Over the Hills Nature Festival in Fredericksburg, TX
http://www.wingsoverthehills.org/

Nestled in the scenic center of Texas Hill Country is the town of Fredericksburg–home to the Wings Over the Hills Nature Festival.  In the North American birding world, the Hill Country is at the juncture of North & South and East & West.  It is possible to see a wide variety of good birds.  And spring is the optimal time for bird diversity.  The Hill Country is a special place for wildflowers and nature.  Millions of bats stream from some of the local caves at dusk.  It is an incredible spectacle to behold.
May 9-10 – Bluegrass Birding Festival in Lexington, KY
http://www.bluegrassbirdingfestival.com/

Many of the southern breeding warblers of eastern North America will have arrived on their territories.  The woodlands will be full of song.

May 8-17 – Biggest Week in American Birding in Oak Harbor, OH
http://www.biggestweekinamericanbirding.com/

I’ve gone birding in Northwest Ohio every year in mid May since 1981 (save 2 special occasions–my Big Year (I chose to go to Attu in 1998) and the filming of The Big Year in 2010). Northwest Ohio is my favorite place to be in North America near Mother’s Day. My favorite family of birds will be there to greet me: the warblers.  And my favorite warbler, the Blackburnian Warbler will be there in good numbers to dazzle me with its striking beauty.

May 28-31 – Acadia Birding Festival in Mount Desert Island, ME
http://www.acadiabirdingfestival.com/

Puffins, warblers, and boreal species! Oh, my! Mount Desert Island is absolutely breathtaking in beauty and rich with breeding birds.

Jun 6-7 – Optics Fling at Time & Optics in Mt. Hope, OH

Come see a wide selection of optics (and get a good deal, too).  Birding trips to local areas to find Blue Grosbeak, Bobolink, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Barn Owl.

Upcoming Tours:

2015

Apr 6-21 – South Texas in Spring with Greg Miller
http://wildsidenaturetours.com/tours/south-texas-rio-grande-valley-with-greg-miller/

* Apr 6-9 – Whooping Crane Boat Trip & King Ranch tour for Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
* Apr 9-17 – Lower Rio Grande Valley tour
* Apr 17-21 – Texas Hill country extension for Golden-cheeked Warbler & Black-capped Vireo

It will be possible to see more than 25% of all the species of North America on this well-designed and well-timed itinerary!

May 2-7 – Follow the Birds to the Biggest Week with Greg Miller
http://wildsidenaturetours.com/tours/follow-the-birds-to-the-biggest-week-with-greg-miller/

There are about 10 warbler species that are more commonly found further south than at the boardwalk at Magee Marsh in Northwest Ohio. This tour is designed to see those southern warblers. And since we’re already further south, we might as well pick up about 30 other southern species on our way to the Biggest Week in American Birding.  This is a one-way itinerary from Charleston, WV to Biggest Week in Ohio. If you are not staying for the festival, we will drop you off at the Detroit Airport. For those of you lucky folks who continue on to Biggest Week, you will end up with an enviable warbler list with all 38 species of eastern wood warblers possible. And if you are still missing Kirtland’s Warbler, you should take Wildside Nature Tours Magee Marsh trip which is after Biggest Week and ends up on the breeding grounds of this rare warbler.

May 17-27 – Southeast Arizona with Greg Miller
http://wildsidenaturetours.com/tours/southeast-arizona-with-greg-miller/

Have you ever wondered where the best place to bird is to increase your life list? Where can you add the most birds in the shortest amount of time? I know I have. Imagine if you are a birder from New York and you have birded there all your life and have not birded outside its borders. The best place to add the most new lifers in about 1 week? Alaska? Nope. California? Nope. Texas? No again. Florida? Still no. Give up? Arizona is the place to go. It has more expected birds to add your New York life list than any other location in all of North America. Cool, eh? How about Massachusetts? Arizona again. Ohio? Arizona. North Carolina? Arizona. Florida? Arizona.

But you have birded in several locations, right? How about a birder who has birded in many of the states east of the Mississippi River (my example is Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio)? Would you believe it–Arizona again. Where did I get all this information? That would be from eBird (all years from 1900-2012 and all months and weeks for every state and province in North America except for Hawaii). The data collected represents nearly 6 million checklists.  Ebird data can be found at ebird.org. It’s an online database of birders’ checklists from around the world. It is a massive Citizen Science database and anyone can contribute to this goldmine of data.

Aug 8-23 – Ecuador: Northern Andes and Amazon with Greg Miller
http://wildsidenaturetours.com/tours/ecuador-northern-andes-and-amazon/

On last year’s trip we saw nearly 600 species of birds.  61 species of hummingbirds.  Over 70 species of tanagers. It is the most amazing trip I have ever been on. Ecuador is an amazingly beautiful country with an incredible amount of diversity. It’s a country the size of the State of Colorado and it has a bird list that is more than 60% larger than the checklist for all of North America. You can read my trip report here: 2014 Ecuador Andes and Amazon Trip Report

Aug 28-Sep 7 – Galapagos Islands Wildlife Adventure
http://wildsidenaturetours.com/workshops/galapagos-islands-photo-cruise/

This is one of the top dream destinations for the nature lover and photographer. If you were like me, you could be found years ago paging through National Geographic Magazine and drooling all over the pictures. This is a photo workshop. Our primary focus will be on photography, but we certainly will not excluding seeing the good birds here either. It will be a trip of a lifetime.

Nov 8-15 – TEXAS: Rio Grande Valley with Greg Miller
http://wildsidenaturetours.com/tours/texas-rio-grande-valley-with-greg-miller/

Oh, wow. What a great place! Good birds and good food. Read about last year’s trip here: 2014 TEXAS: Rio Grande Valley.

2016

Mar 12-20, 2016 – Amazon Riverboat Adventure with Greg Miller
http://wildsidenaturetours.com/tours/amazon-riverboat-adventure/

I’m really excited about this one! What is not to like about a cruise down the Amazon River? The birds. The wildlife. The River. It’s gonna be memorable!

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