MOS Sponsored Birding Trips
The MOS launched a member benefit that has received enthusiastic response: birding trips to some of the great hotspots in the world. We’re concentrating on the Americas right now, but we can expand to anywhere members might wish. And your wishes are important. If there is a spot you’ve always wanted to visit, let us know (contact Maryanne Dolan). We’ll do our best to gather enough like-minded birders to make the trip viable. With Covid coming under control, it’s time to spread our wings a bit and look for birding spots outside the mid-Atlantic region.
Several great trips are on the calendar for 2021
June 24 – 29, 2021
First up, for those who are fully vaccinated and comfortable with early travel, there are a few spots remaining on the Montana trip. That trip starts and ends in Bozeman, with the possibility of an extension to see the Cassia Crossbill. The extension runs from June 30 to July 1 and ends in Twin Falls, Idaho. Cost for the main portion is $2095 per person with a single supplement of $390. The extension is $770 with a single supplement of $180. The cost is inclusive (accommodations, food, ground transport, guide, local fees) except for airfare. Contact Maryanne (email@example.com) for the full itinerary.
August 15 – 24, 2021 (dates tentative)
August is a great time to visit the birding hotspots of southeastern Arizona. The majority of specialty species are present with certain tricky species like Montezuma Quail and Botteri’s and Cassin’s Sparrows being easier to find as they become vocal during the onset of the monsoon breeding season. In addition, it is peak hummingbird season and the resident hummingbirds are augmented by migrants with up to a dozen species possible (10 are very likely). It is also possible to see the vast majority of specialty species during August, including Zone-tailed and Gray Hawks, Mexican Jay, Arizona Woodpecker, Thick-billed and Tropical Kingbirds, Sulphur-bellied, Dusky-capped, and Buff-breasted Flycatchers, Greater Pewee, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Mexican Chickadee, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Bendire’s Thrasher, Olive Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Painted Redstart, Abert’s Towhee, Rufous-winged Sparrow, Yellow-eyed Junco, and the stunning Elegant Trogon. We will also venture forth at night to look for the various species of owls present in this corner of the Grand Canyon State. During August, the owls have finished nesting and tend to be less vocal (thus a bit trickier to find), but we still have excellent chances for Whiskered and Western Screech-Owls and Great Horned Owl. August is also a great time to witness the onset of fall migration. (Pricing and exact dates/itinerary still being worked out. Contact Maryanne (firstname.lastname@example.org for updated info.)
Washington and the Pacific Northwest
September 17 – 23, 2021
We will hit 8 of the Top 10 Birding Hotspots in the State of Washington. We will start at the northerly tip of the Kitsap Peninsula in Puget Sound, Washington’s top birding hotspot. Over 160 species have been recorded in the fall. This includes more than 20 species of waterfowl, 4 species of loons, 6 species of grebes, 13 species of gulls, all 3 jaegers, and an amazing 6 species of alcids. One of the greatest allures here is the possibility of seeing alcids—birds usually only found at sea by boat—from dry land. We’ll be looking for Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, and Rhinoceros Auklet. Ancient Murrelet winter here and we’ll be on the cusp of their arrival. From there it only gets better! Cost is $1850 per person based on double occupancy which includes accommodation, ground transport, local guide and local fees. It does not include food or air transportation. Contact Maryanne (email@example.com) for the full itinerary.
Texas! – the Rio Grande
November 3 – 9, 2021
South Texas hosts an incredible diversity of avifauna; more than 500 species of birds have been documented in the 4-county region! Not only does the region tie together bird communities from the Rockies, East Coast, Southwest, and Great Plains but it also includes tropical specialties that can be found nowhere else in the United States. The seemingly never-ending list of regional specialties that we will target on this November tour include Audubon’s and Altamira Orioles, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay, Ringed and Green Kingfishers, Plain Chachalaca, Groove-billed Ani, Common Pauraque, Mottled Duck, Mexican Duck, White-tailed Hawk, Gray Hawk, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Long-billed Thrasher, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Least Grebe, Tropical and Couch’s Kingbirds, Chihuhuan Raven, Black-crested Titmouse, Spraque’s Pipit, Neotropic Cormorant, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Bronzed Cowbird, White-tipped Dove, Snowy Plover, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet Olive Sparrow, and the handsome Aplomado Falcon. The Lower Rio Grande Valley is a well-known vagrant hotspot, with a slew of exciting vagrants from Mexico that could turn up at any moment! In previous years we’ve had success with Tamaulipas Crow, Masked Booby, Hook-billed Kite, Roadside Hawk, Tropical Parula, and Golden-crowned Sparrow but you never know what’s going to be around! Cost is $1850 per person based on double occupancy and includes accommodation, ground transport, local guide and local fees. It does not include food or air transportation. Contact Maryanne Dolan (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a detailed itinerary.
If any of these trips catches your fancy or if there is somewhere else you’d like to go, contact me at email@example.com.
Take care and stay safe,