Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Breaking News


Hello everyone this is Brian Hinchletwist at CNN sorry to interrupt today's episode of "House Flipping Idiots" to bring you this breaking news: "Prothonotary Warbler" anagrams to "Noteworthy Bra Parlor." That's right, word just coming in from the AP confirms that "Prothonotary Warbler" anagrams into "Noteworthy Bra Parlor." Shocking stuff. To help us make sense of this news let us turn now to CNN International Affairs expert, Diana Brinklegin. Diana?

Thanks, Brian. This is most certainly a sad turn, but perhaps not so surprising considering last week's revelations that "Willow Ptarmigan" anagrams into "Wallowing Armpit" and that "Red-necked Phalarope" anagrams into "Henpecked Lard Opera." Still, this latest development marks a dark new chapter for NATO-backed forces already on the ground. Brian?

Thanks, Diana. And the story is still breaking. Just now a newsflash has come across my desk with new information. Apparently - and this is unconfirmed but coming from a trusted source - but apparently, "Gray-cheeked Thrush" anagrams to "Sketchy Hug Adherer." Unbelievable. Let's go live now to our own Charles Mittonsuit who is on the scene there at the bicycle factory. Charles can you hear me?

I can, Brian, thank you, and apologies again to those at home for interrupting your regularly-scheduled "Bride Punchers." Yes I am here at the bicycle factory and I just spoke to Duncan Thkkk, Senior Regional Spoke and Wheel Auditor, who has confirmed these latest developments, and also added a disturbing new fact: "Eastern Screech Owl" anagrams into "Encore Cartwheels." A bold assertion from the scene on the gr...

Charles, Charles I'm sorry but I am going to have to cut you off there, as I have just heard word from the White House that President Kaylee Addison Madison herself is taking to the airwaves to address the American people on today's news. Here we are live now at the White House, with the President.

My fellow Americans. I apologize for taking you away from your episode of "Let's Try To Eat It All," but these are important times. I am sure by now that you have heard the news that "Gunnison Sage Grouse" anagrams to "Guessing Onerousness" and that "Common Merganser" anagrams to "Cram Men or Gnomes." These, certainly, are trying times. But I urge us to remain calm and remember that we are Americans. We will get through this crisis, together. Thank you.

Sage words from the President, there. Stay tuned to CNN for additional developments, but this is Brian Hinchletwist signing off. Now let's return you to your local stations for the in-progress episode of "Hoarding Bride Renovation All-Stars."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hatteras Pelagic

Just back to stupid real life after heading out to the Gulf Stream with the Seabirding Pelagics and the crew of the Stormy-Petrel II yesterday.  The trip was just incredible, as we get multiple, sustained looks at a Bermuda Petrel - one of only about 400 individuals of this species left on Earth, distant looks at a Fea's Petrel, and close-up views of South Polar Skua, Black-capped Petrel, and a host of other great birds.

My personal goal was not to get seasick. Last time I was out on this boat, I got an estimated 0 hours of sleep and ended up sick and sleeping in the cabin for most of the trip.  This time I slept a little better, but didn't use any seasickness aids or anything, because I am dumb and think I'm tough. I felt pretty queasy and fully exhausted much of the time, though I didn't get sick, and wished I could have been out on deck more, but hey what can you do? Thank goodness for the incredible crew of spotters.

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to post some images I got, to show off. Here:

Bermuda Petrel

Bermuda Petrel

Bermuda Petrel. This is an incredibly rare bird, and the prolonged looks it gave us on two occasions (we later refound what was determined to be the same bird) are almost unprecedented. Brian Patteson's Stormy-Petrel II is pretty much the only boat in the U.S. where this species is possible. Read here to learn about ongoing conservation efforts to protect this endangered species.

I also saw one Fea's Petrel (pronounced Fay-uh, apparently!). I was napping in the cabin during one of my bad spells when the shout rang out on deck. I jumped out to see a small gadfly petrel with dark underwings cruising away, in the company of a few bigger Black-capped Petrels. It was not an ideal look, but a look nonetheless. I did not see the bird that was seen later, much closer to the boat. Apparently Steven Howell and some others who managed to get shots of the first Fea's think that the bird is a candidate for a Zino's Petrel, an extremely similar bird that has only been seen in North America one time, by Patteson on his boat. I can't speak either way to this ID, but wanted to point out that the debate was ongoing.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Google Street View Birding: Antarctica Part I: The Falkland Islands

Hello, and welcome back to the worst blog on the internet.

Today brings another installment of Google Street View Birding, where I sit at my desk in the dark, my pasty face squinting at the screen, and surf around Google Street View looking for birds.  This installment is my favorite yet, and takes us to a place with very few species of birds, but many excellent Google Street View looks: Antarctica.

Gentoo Penguins on Petermann Island, Antarctica
Though there is very little coverage of Antarctica and the surrounding islands in Street View (I mean, there are no streets...) there are a crap-ton of great views of birds. So many, in fact, that I need to break this thing into multiple posts. Luck you! Let's start the same way many oceanic trips to Antartica start: with a visit to the Falkland Islands.

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