Thursday, December 11, 2008

Highlights of 2008: Birthday Lifer!

Bat falcon, Flores, Guatemala. March 3, 2008.

Am I jinxing myself by looking back at some of the year's most enjoyable birding moments before the year is even complete? I certainly hope not.*

One of the highlights from early 2008 was my birthday bat falcon in Flores, Guatemala. The bat falcon is a fairly common raptor in the tropics. In fact it was something of a sore point for me that I had not seen one after more than half a dozen trips to its range in Central America. I'd gotten amazing looks at a larger (and much rarer) relative, the orange-breasted falcon on two different trips to Tikal, but the bat falcon had eluded me.

My pal Jeff Bouton knew this and made it his special quest to add this bird to my list. He succeeded in high style, scoring me a Falco rufigularis on my actual birthday, last March 3rd.
I told this tale here in the pages of Bill of the Birds last March. JB shared his version of the event on his blog, The Leica Birding Blog.

The birthday bat falcon in Flores. It was a very patient bird.

The bat falcon, and being surrounded by friends and loved ones, made my birthday in 2008 a Happy Bird Day.

Gallo and life birds—they just seem to go together.

I believe there was also some beer and ice cream involved, though not at exactly the same time.

I get an ice cream assist while photographing the b-day bat falcon. Image by Jeff Bouton.

*The automatic URL pointer for this Blogspot version of Bill of the Birds went slightly haywire yesterday morning, so some of you may have been mistakenly redirected to the old Blogger BOTB. If that happened, sorry about that. You might want to fix your bookmark by copying the URL of this version. Or just sign up for the RSS feed and brace yourself for a daily helping of BOTB with a side of flies.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Bagging the B-day Bat Falcon

My birthday bat falcon in Flores, Guatemala.

My amigo Jeff Bouton of Leica Sport Optics helped me break a three-year birding jinx by showing me a bat falcon in Flores, Guatemala on my recent birfday.

He recounts the adventure, and in vivid style, on the Leica Birding Blog and you can read it simply by clicking here.

I will be telling my own version of the same story here in BOTB in the coming days. But I wanted to give Jeff a shout-out for his birding generosity and kind words. Thanks JB!

Jeff Bouton of Leica Sport Optics is also a raptor ID expert.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Amazing Rocks of NM

New Mexico has lots of interesting rock formations. Some of them, like Camel Rock (above) near Española, are named for what they look like.

We found a really interesting formation south of Bosque del Apache NWR. It's called Bouton Rock because it looks just like Jeff Bouton, Leica's sports optics/pro-birder dude.

It's a sort of Mt Rushmore of Digiscoping.

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