The Big Sit! 2017 Team Reports

Check out team reports submitted by the captains of Big Sit! circles around the world.


Circle Captain: Lois Stacey

Circle Location: Augusta, Georgia (United States)

This was our first Big Sit but not our last! We've had to watch the weather all week because Hurricane Nate was headed our way but we managed to get in most of a day before the rains started. One of the hoped for dawn birds, Barred Owl, started calling before the circle was set up so I hurried to get that done and he called again when I was done...

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Allegheny Woodrats

Circle Captain: Mark Johnson

Circle Location: Austin, Pennsylvania (United States)

Our first year. Not very birdy today. May tweek location next year.

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ASE Snail Kites

Circle Captain: Linda Mccandless

Circle Location: Boynton Beach, Florida (United States)

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Circle Captain: Greg Butcher

Circle Location: Lorton, Virginia (United States)

A rooster and two bats (over the pollinator garden started us off 30 minutes before sunrise. We have a good butterfly list as well, including more than 20 monarchs.

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Back Bay Birders

Circle Captain: Andrew Baldelli

Circle Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia (United States)

Large movement of waterfowl and Brown Pelicans

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Circle Captain: Robert Dixon

Circle Location: Central Village, Connecticut (United States)

Conditions were not what you would expect for this date and we struggled with many common species but did surprisingly well with raptors. Fun day overall with a couple new species for our 'Big Sit' location.

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Bell Hollow Buteos

Circle Captain: John Carter

Circle Location: Howard, Pennsylvania (United States)

What a great day to be outside and bird. We had fantastic views of a Norther Harrier and Bald Eagles which flew right over our heads. We also saw bluejays mob a sharp-shinned hawk for about 5 minutes...

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Circle Captain: Joseph Devereaux

Circle Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin (United States)

This day was VERY windy! There was a constant south wind and rain for about half of the day. Birds stayed very low. It was tough birding all day.

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Birds By Day Bats By Night

Circle Captain: Selena And Mark Kiser

Circle Location: Monticello, Florida (United States)

This was the least successful Big Sit! that we've had at our place since we started a few years ago. Hurricane Nate negatively affected our birding. First, we had rain in the morning, and even though the afternoon cleared up a bit, we had overcast skies nearly all day, and most flying birds were merely silhouettes...

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Birds-I-View Birders

Circle Captain: Steve Garr

Circle Location: Jefferson City, Missouri (United States)

A dozen participants joined us on and off throughout the day despite some pretty drippy weather all morning. Unlike all previous Sits for us, winter migrants had not entered the area yet so were absent from our count...

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Brumbaugh Birders

Circle Captain: Adam Zorn

Circle Location: Minerva, Ohio (United States)

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Bucktoe Early Birders

Circle Captain: Larry Lewis

Circle Location: Avondale, Pennsylvania (United States)

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Cape Cardinals

Circle Captain: Turk Duddy

Circle Location: Kennebunkport, Maine (United States)

This is the 5th year Linda & I have done a Big Sit at home. We started at 6:03 am. It started raining shortly before 10:25 am so we took a break & ran over to Ocean State Job Lots to take advantage of their 40% off sale...

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Caroline Blue Birds

Circle Captain: Debby Bennett

Circle Location: Ridgely, Maryland (United States)

Very slow day. Hardly any birds after 11 am. Very busy park. Left early due to big wedding party.

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Celery Fields Forever

Circle Captain: Stu Wilson

Circle Location: Sarasota, Florida (United States)

Fifteen dedicated volunteer birders participated in the 2017 Big Sit, acting on behalf of "Celery Fields Forever", Sarasota Audubon Society's team. It was, according to some, an unseasonably warm and humid fall day, with too much wind...

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Chambers Lake Early Birders

Circle Captain: Larry Lewis

Circle Location: Coatesville, Pennsylvania (United States)

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Charm Counting Circle

Circle Captain: Eli Miller

Circle Location: Charm, Ohio (United States)

Last bird added was Double-crested Cormorant at 12:43 then wind picked up more out of south and made finding any birds at all difficult. We were well satisfied with 62 by that time but just couldn't add anything after that.

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Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory

Circle Captain: Brian Taber

Circle Location: Northampton County, Virginia (United States)

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Commons Ford

Circle Captain: Shelia Hargis

Circle Location: Austin, Texas (United States)

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cottage 200

Circle Captain: Bruce Krucke

Circle Location: summerville, South Carolina (United States)

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Dam Sitters

Circle Captain: Mindy Waldron

Circle Location: Jumping Branch, West Virginia (United States)

There were several hundreds of Chimney Swifts flying through all day. In the morning, some even came down and dipped their beaks into the lake water. There were at least 40 beautifully colored wood ducks...

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DFO Insaniacs

Circle Captain: Joey Kellner

Circle Location: Littleton, Colorado (United States)

While nothing REALLY rare was observered (we all had hopes of birds moving ahead of the cold front (predicted to come through starting at 8pm) we did see some nice birds: Sabine's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, etc.

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Circle Captain: Helen Wright-north

Circle Location: Dayton, Ohio (United States)

All was quiet... perhaps too quiet, aside from the usual backyard banter, when two blackpoll warblers appeared in the American bittersweet arch and brought us out of our fireside chairs. Then, warbler mayhem...

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East Aurora Bird Club

Circle Captain: Mary Steuer

Circle Location: Grand Island, New York (United States)

Notable for very windy conditions which probably kept total number of observed species down. Highlights included soaring Bald Eagle(s) at one point in same binocular view with 2 Red-tailed Hawks; a Cooper Hawk chasing a flock of Starlings; good looks at an American Kestrel perched and on the hunt-at one point flying by carrying his (undetermined) prey; nice look at the resident Kingfisher...

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FBI - Feathered Body Inspectors

Circle Captain: Alyssia Church

Circle Location: San Antonio, Texas (United States)

Very active with herons in the morning, especially a surprising number of Little Blue Herons. Huge numbers of waterfowl (in the thousands) streaming through in the early morning hours, but too far and too high to ID...

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Fredericksburg Flighty Flickers

Circle Captain: Sally Knight

Circle Location: Stafford, Virginia (United States)

It was a beautiful day, albeit a little warm for October. Through the day we had 11 people take part in our observations. As the sun warmed up the trees, the birds started to flit around and we checked most of our species well before noon...

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Friends of Missisquoi NWR

Circle Captain: Rich Kelley

Circle Location: Swanton, Vermont (United States)

35 identified species, plus one unidentified warbler, and either a snipe or woodcock seen at dawn. First such event for our group, seemed to go well and was fun.

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Gilsland Gulls

Circle Captain: Turk Duddy

Circle Location: Falmouth, Maine (United States)

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Circle Captain: Kyle O'haver

Circle Location: Galveston, Alabama (United States)

Amazing how loud the waves were in the morning trying to listen for nocturnal birds. Hurricane was approaching Louisiana with lots of pressure in the Gulf.

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Glastonbury Meadow Scopers

Circle Captain: Bill Asteriades

Circle Location: Glastonbury, Connecticut (United States)

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Circle Captain: Gary Cowell Jr.

Circle Location: Mifflin, Ohio (United States)

One Goodyear blimp flyover.

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Gornje Telelovo Polje

Circle Captain: Aidan Place

Circle Location: Sarajevo, Other (Bosnia and Herzegovi)

Large numbers of wagtails and finches were the norm with lots moving through the field and overhead. A couple great cormorants came by but I was never within the count circle when they did. Lots of grey herons about as well...

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Grassy Hill

Circle Captain: Richard Chyinski

Circle Location: East Lyme, Connecticut (United States)

Though not near the coast many Monarchs floated past.

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Great Heron Siege

Circle Captain: Jessica Rotter

Circle Location: Benbrook, Texas (United States)

This was a great group of birders, willing to share their bird knowledge with each other.

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Hartford Audubon Society

Circle Captain: Brian Kleinman

Circle Location: South Winsdor, Connecticut (United States)

The annual HAS 'BIG SIT' happened on Sunday 10/8 at Station 43 in South Windsor, and unfortunately just like last year, we got rained out after 4 hours. Jay Kaplan, myself (Brian Kleinman), and my 9-year old son Luke arrived at the Station 43 viewing platform around 5:30am...

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HRDABRD at Middle Creek

Circle Captain: Bruce A Carl

Circle Location: Kleinfeltersville, Pennsylvania (United States)

A nice variety today with a total of (69) species recorded. Some of the selected highlights for the day included Blue-winged Teal (1), Ruddy Duck (3), Pied-billed Grebe (1), Bald Eagle (5), Killdeer (31), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1), Merlin (1), Philadelphia Vireo (1), Common Raven (2), Gray-cheeked Thrush (1), Swainson's Thrush (4), Wood Thrush (2), Brown Thrasher (1), Black-throated Blue Warbler (1), Black-throated Green Warbler (1), Palm Warbler (4) and Scarlet Tanager (2)...

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Circle Captain: Shantanu Phukan

Circle Location: Capitola, California (United States)

The most exciting thing was the almost constant jaeger chases we witnessed. There were at least 4 Parasitic Jaegers and one Pomarine visible nearly the entire day giving elaborate chases to both Elegant Terns and Heerman's Gulls...

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John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Circle Captain: Debbie Beer

Circle Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (United States)

Deb Beer, Adrian Binns, Marty Dellwo and Todd Fellenbaum led this year’s BIG SIT at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, the 8th one since 2007. For the first time ever, we were dressed in Tshirts and shorts while setting up at 5:00 am at the Refuge’s observation deck! Temps were 75F and rising, on a hot humid October day...

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Circle Captain: John Triana

Circle Location: Prospect, Connecticut (United States)

Limited time to observed and poor conditions lead to a short species list.

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Juniata Juncos

Circle Captain: Chad Kauffman

Circle Location: Port Royal, Pennsylvania (United States)

unusually warm, clear skys with some open blue and some full white. no lift of raptors.

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Kentish Plovers

Circle Captain: Walter Ellison

Circle Location: Rock Hall, Maryland (United States)

Good, bad, fortunately no ugly. Warm temperatures, high humidity, and south winds that became fairly strong by late morning put a damper on overnight arrivals of migrants, and slowed diurnal migration...

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Loonatics - Birds of Vermont Museum

Circle Captain: Erin Talmage

Circle Location: Huntington, Vermont (United States)

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Lower Columbia Birders

Circle Captain: Mike Patterson

Circle Location: Seaside, Oregon (United States)

The morning began with fog that made ocean watching impossible, so we focused on land species until the fog lifted at around 10:30. The ocean was pretty rough and most seabirds were well beyond the breakers...

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Maquoit Bay Birders

Circle Captain: Gordon Smith

Circle Location: Brunswick, Maine (United States)

Many of the usual passerines and other birds were absent today due to persistent strong onshore winds (20 mph) and a midday rain storm.

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Circle Captain: Ron Clark

Circle Location: Huntersville, North Carolina (United States)

17 participants.

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Metro Munchers

Circle Captain: Tom Heatley

Circle Location: Harrison Township, Michigan (United States)

Added one new species to our all time list: Indigo Bunting. That brings our total since 1996 to 144 species.

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Mighty Mighty Jizz Masters

Circle Captain: Greg Neise

Circle Location: Hennepin, Illinois (United States)

October 8, 2017 was a beautiful day to be sitting bigly at Hennepin Hopper. The morning weather was all we could ask for, cool, calm ... you could hear birds a long way away. The day turned warm, sunny and very pleasant...

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Mill Creek Wildlife Sanctuary

Circle Captain: Bob Lane

Circle Location: Canfield, Ohio (United States)

Throughout the day we had a total of twenty-four participants. Birders from Mahoning, Stark, Carroll, Ashtabula,and Trumbull Counties of Ohio, were represented. Our main core of die-hard birders were myself, Jeff Harvey, Ben Morrison, John Petruzzi, Shari Jackson, Craig Holt, Shaun O'Neill, Jon Cefus, Bob Krajeski, Richelle Gatto, and Denise Lane...

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Moon-Farm Nature Group

Circle Captain: Marta Coleman

Circle Location: Fulton, Kentucky (United States)

This was our warmest and wettest Big Sit! to date. I started at 7:15 (6:56 sunrise, 6:31 sunset). Jessica joined me and we had 20 species by 10:45am when rain set in. We tried again at 3:00pm and Kerry joined us...

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Nature Center at Shaker Lakes

Circle Captain: Julie West

Circle Location: Cleveland, Ohio (United States)

No new species added. Black-crowned Night Heron, Brown-headed cowbird, and House wren seen for only the 2nd time in 13 years. Bald Eagle, Black-throated blue warbler, Red-shouldered hawk,and Tennessee warbler seen for only the 3rd time in 13 years.

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Circle Captain: Katrina Fenton

Circle Location: Peterborough, New Hampshire (United States)

First bird of the day was a Northern Saw-whet Owl at 6:10am. Last bird of the day was a Pileated Woodpecker that called a few minutes before 6:00pm.

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Patuxent Migratory Robbins

Circle Captain: Andrea Robbins

Circle Location: Laurel, Maryland (United States)

Great sky, deep blue with lots of puffy white clouds made it super for hawk spotting. Despite the SSE winds we had good numbers and variety of hawk moving, including 3 Peregrines at 5 pm. The pond had been drained, and had very little water and no mud showing, which greatly decreased our water bird and shorebird species this year...

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Piedmont Pishers

Circle Captain: Lynne Gray

Circle Location: Greensboro, North Carolina (United States)

Best birds were an early Winter Wren and a gorgeously plumaged Cape May Warbler. Missing were many expected visitors such as Mourning Doves, Turkey Vultures, and Fish Crows. The hoped for Barred Owl posed for pictures but did not humor us by using a perch visible from our circle...

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Pishing in the Wind

Circle Captain: Jim Royer

Circle Location: Los Osos, California (United States)

Our 21st sit at this location had fewer sitters than past years with only one sitter for brief periods. The poor visibility hindered long range identification of grebes, terns and other birds. There was no land bird migration apparent, with no swallows or other birds passing our observation platform from the north...

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Pond Power Hour

Circle Captain: Sage Sullivan

Circle Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania (United States)

Bird activity steady throughout the "Power Hour" as we conducted a very short Big Sit effort. We found almost all of the expected "every day" species with the notable exception of Tufted Titmouse...

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Circle Captain: Jim Flanagan

Circle Location: Coburn, Pennsylvania (United States)

Great sit. A lot of fun and great new location.

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QVAS Bird Buddies

Circle Captain: Eric Eichorn

Circle Location: Meriden, Connecticut (United States)

Last year the pond was drained to work on the dam so we sat on the pond bottom with a small stream winding it's way to the dam. This year the pond was filled back up, without some mud flats we did miss a few birds this year.

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Richmond Audubon Society

Circle Captain: Ellison Orcutt

Circle Location: Richmond, Virginia (United States)

First Sit at this location. Very slow migration in Richmond the last few weeks led to very few migrants being recorded. Tallied 44 species. Only 9 new species recored after 1020am (9 hours of counting)...

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Rollins Raptors

Circle Captain: Beau Schaefer

Circle Location: grayslake, Illinois (United States)

Common Nighthawk, Black-crowned Night Heron, Northern Pintail, Short-eared Owl, American Bittern.

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Sandy Hook Half Mooners

Circle Captain: Rob And Lisa Ann Fanning

Circle Location: Sandy Hook, Highland, New Jersey (United States)

~15 Monarch Butterflies

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sarcelle soucrourou

Circle Captain: Patrick Brisse

Circle Location: Tucker, Georgia (United States)

a few interesting birds, only 2 new species after 1PM, so most of the activity was in the morning.

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Shaver's Creek

Circle Captain: Doug Wentzel

Circle Location: Petersburg, Pennsylvania (United States)

Highlights included Merlin, Rusty Blackbird and Tundra Swan.

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Smallwood Sharp Eyes

Circle Captain: Andrea Robbins

Circle Location: Pasadena, Maryland (United States)

Our second count at this location. Wind and rainy conditions were not conducive to hawk movement, so our raptor numbers are very low. Warm temperatures for recent weeks meant no migrant loons or grebes or ducks (other then 3 Ruddy Ducks...

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Smokey and the Banders

Circle Captain: Karl Suttmann

Circle Location: Hesston, Pennsylvania (United States)

Most species were observed at 9am. After that, we only saw approximately 1 new species an hour.

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South Meadowlarks

Circle Captain: Neil Zimmerman

Circle Location: Seattle, Washington (United States)

We enjoyed a fantastic day in the park overlooking the meadow and the waters of Puget Sound. The morning started out fast with sightings of sparrows in the bushes and water birds on the water below us...

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St. Marks Spotters / St. Marks NWR

Circle Captain: Robin Will

Circle Location: St. Marks, Florida (United States)

Hurricane Nate hit the day after our Big Sit, causing winds to be between 10 and 15 mph. The day started out overcast, but got sunnier as the day progressed. The mudflats at the observation deck near the lighthouse were very productive, with many shorebirds and gulls/terns/skimmers present throughout our count...

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Super Specky Sharpie Spotters

Circle Captain: Phil Brown

Circle Location: Concord, New Hampshire (United States)

422 visitors to the observation platform throughout the day. Good species diversity. Nothing too surprising.

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Circle Captain: Ted Drozdowski

Circle Location: Waxahachie, Texas (United States)

We had a nice turnout of nineteen people. Happy to have mud and shorebirds to pick through all day long. We had eleven species of shorebirds including Semisand and semiplover, plus a dozen Stilt Sandpipers...

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Swamp Sitters

Circle Captain: Janet Stadelmeier

Circle Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey (United States)

Highlights-a single flock of Brant was seen and there were large numbers of chimney swifts throughout the day.

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Swooping Swallows

Circle Captain: Norma Gay Wands

Circle Location: Danville, Pennsylvania (United States)

This was Seven Mountains Audubon Society's very first Big Sit. During birding breaks, some members of our circle took time off to do some kayaking on the lake. Kayaks were provided by Laurie Shaffer...

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Team Nighthawk

Circle Captain: Geoffrey Tucker

Circle Location: Cullman, Alabama (United States)

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Team Solo

Circle Captain: June Kohler

Circle Location: New Buffalo, Michigan (United States)

The panoramic view overlooking the Galien River was awesome. The first couple of hours were quiet with a handful of visitors to the tower and few kayakers. Understandably the summerlike weather drew hordes of visitors to the tower and numerous kayakers and canoeists to the river...

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The Bird Nerds

Circle Captain: William Young

Circle Location: Willow Street, Pennsylvania (United States)

A good day for birding.The sit location was well chosen and yeilded many birds. The weather was very nice, which added to the overall enjoyment of the sit. 22 species were seen during the sit.

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The Blue Birds

Circle Captain: Eric Wood

Circle Location: Columbia, Missouri (United States)

Before the rain we had 4 Ospreys, 4 Northern Harriers, 1 Peregrine, 2 Merlin and a mix of other hawk species flying south along the bluffs. After the rain stopped we had 17 Peregrines, 5 Osprey, 12 Northern Harriers, 32 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 4 Coopers, 28 Broad-wings, and a mix of other hawks species...

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The Fililulu Bird

Circle Captain: Caroline Stafford

Circle Location: Rapid City, South Dakota (United States)

Saturday, gorgeous, sunny and warm, today rainy and cold. The usual crowd and numbers expected. Turkey vultures and spotted towhee left about 3 days ago.

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The Woodbinoculars

Circle Captain: Rick Sussman

Circle Location: Woodbine, Maryland (United States)

Rain and SW tropical winds/storm kept most migrants absent, and hardly any raptors as well. My goal was just to beat last years low total of 33 species, so I kept at it until at 4 minutes until 6PM (my designated quit time) a pair of Kingfishers flew by for #34!

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Thompson Wildlife Sanctuary

Circle Captain: Phil Brown

Circle Location: Sandwich, New Hampshire (United States)

Short-eared Owl rising up over the marsh started the day. Marsh birds included Sora, American Bittern, Pied-billed Grebe, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Wilson's Snipe. Merlins and Pied-billed Grebes kept good company all afternoon and were enjoyed by many.

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TNP big sit

Circle Captain: Brandon Swayser

Circle Location: Schnecksville, Pennsylvania (United States)

There was a decent migratory movement last night which resulted in good numbers of migrants this morning. 5 Savannah Sparrows and 570 American Robins were seen, which are both higher than usual for this location...

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Under Bridge Sitters

Circle Captain: Ray Scory

Circle Location: Port Orange, Florida (United States)

The Laughing Gull was the bird of the day with hundreds occupying the few exposed oyster bars showing at low tide in the Halifax River. The river was extremely high due to the past two weeks heavy rains and a NW wind blowing up the river on Sunday...

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Washtenaw Wingnuts

Circle Captain: Don Chalfant

Circle Location: Whitmore Lake, Michigan (United States)

Our 20th Big Sit at this site proved to be one of the most productive, thanks to some young eyes and ears. Morning rain did not deter the group; but afternoon winds deterred the birds. Still, a count of 60 species was rewarding...

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West Fairview Mergansers

Circle Captain: Vern Gauthier

Circle Location: Enola, Pennsylvania (United States)

6:56 a.m. first Birds Cumberland County Song Sparrow. 6:59 a.m. first Birds Dauphin County 2 Wood Ducks. 8:56 a.m. 30 + species at this time nothing outstandingly rare. Noon sitting at 52 species 12:46 p...

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