It’s November, and we all know what that means! It’s a great time for spotting birds both in the bush and on the table (at least turkey). Around the country and overseas, birders are giving thanks for nature’s wonders and busting out their binoculars to witness them in person.
First up, Craig Reed of Midlands Birder catches up with a Pectoral Sandpiper in Stafford, England, reminding us that even common birds are rare somewhere in the world!

“It took some time, and we were in site for most of the afternoon, but we eventually had decent views as it worked its way along the rear shore of the flash. The Pectoral Sandpiper is a species I have only caught up with once before, that being the long staying bird at Upton Warren a few years ago so it was nice to see another of these American waders.”

Next, David Bell of Birding In… recounts his experiences monitoring nesting Storm Petrels on Bon Portage Island in Canada. We are certainly thankful for the work of volunteers like him!

“Two different groups were doing research on the petrels through the fall, so I got to help out a fair bit with grubbing, banding, bleeding and measuring the chicks/adults. What’s grubbing you ask? Basically you stick your hand down a burrow and pull out the chick/adult (carefully) in order to band/measure it, then put it back. It’s dirty work but pretty fun as it can be a challenge to get the birds out of the long, narrow burrows!”

On Prairie Birder, Charlotte prepares to tackle the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Home Study in Bird Biology. Over the next few months you’ll be able to follow her progress as she blogs through the course.

“I’ve decided I’m going to blog my way through the course and the book, for anyone else who might be interested in the course and is wondering whether or not to do it… now I’m just waiting for the package to arrive.”

Finally, Zach Hinchcliffes’ Birding Blog responds to a controversy involving a Dusky Thrush in England with a discussion of the ethics of withholding information about rare birds on private property.

“When someone finds a rarity… [do] they HAVE to report the bird to someone? No, of course not. Whenever anyone reports a bird, it is done by their own free will and what the guys at Birdguides, RBA, Birdnet etc do by spreading the news is a great privilege. They don’t have to sit at a computer every day reporting everyone’s sightings across the internet, but they make our birding life more exciting as a result of it.”