Monday, July 31, 2006

Tassiebirds in the US

As mentioned below, I'm presently in the US. I've so far racked up about 100 species, all recorded within 50 miles of where I'm staying in North East Illinois (for the geographically challenged, that's just North of Chicago). The Autumn migration is just beginning, and this area is definitely a hotspot. I must say that the large array of Sparrow and Warbler species are a "challenge" to put it mildly, at least for somone unfamiliar with even the commonest of them, even though this is my fourth trip. The local hotline, run by the Illinois Ornithological Society, is a great source of timely information, even giving detailed information on the best places to park your car. Which brings me to another difference from much of my birding in Tasmania -- you can do a great deal of birding from the car. Nearly all the local reserves have paved roads running through them. However, on the other hand, in many reserves you have to stay on the walking tracks, no wandering off through the scrub--heavy fines ensue, and yes, your chances of being caught are quite high. Oh that we had a similar policing of our reserves around Hobart. Or, come to that, any policing at all!

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