• Star Island overnights

    Star Island overnights

    May 16-18 & September 19-21, 2014


    Fewer than 30 species of birds breed on Star Island, but almost 250 species have been recorded. Most are migrants that use the island as a staging post each spring and fall. Two weekend conferences will focus on the identification and natural history of the many species that we encounter.

    Each conference costs $300pp, which is inclusive of meals, lodging, and boat transportation. The last conference was a sell-out, so contact me asap if you want to sign up for either.

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  • Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagements

    I will be appearing across the state in the next few months, signing books and talking about the finer points of finding birds in New Hampshire.

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  • Media Buzz on Birdwatching in New Hampshire

    Media Buzz on Birdwatching in New Hampshire

    Masterson has created an excellent set of tools that, if used as he intended, I am sure, would have helped me build up my “life list” of bird sightings, to a greater length.” Stacey Cole, New Hampshire  Union Leader, April 12, 2013
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Birds and Windows – epic journey ends in tragedy

Star Island Weekend Report, May 16-18, 2014

NB: space available on last trip of the spring – Sunday May 25th, 8am-4pm, $65pp. Contact me at eric.masterson@myfairpoint.net

You know how a plain white wall is the perfect foil for a great work of art. Saturday May 17th was the white wall, with scarcely a migrant to be found. We (all 27 of us) found a total of five migrant warblers – that’s individuals, not species. Set against this plain backdrop, Sunday provided a masterpiece – an exemplary example of spring migration at its best.

Connecticut River Geese, Spring 2014

2014 was a good spring for goose diversity in the Connecticut River Valley. The following gallery includes shots of all five species seen to date (all through an iPhone/telescope combination). In addition, I found two more neck-banded Canada Geese. I sent the band numbers away to reportband.gov and got a response within two weeks. Both birds (seen in Charlestown NH and Putney VT) were banded in Montreal, much closer to home than the bird I found in March 2011 and 2013 that was banded in Greenland. They add to the overall diversity of the region’s waterfowl if you consider diversity... Continue Reading →

Terrific Year for Alcids on Jeffreys Ledge

Dovekies, Jeffreys Ledge

Dovekies, Jeffreys Ledge

Eleven birders visited Jeffreys Ledge yesterday with Eastmans of Hampton Harbor. We are incredibly lucky to have this facility in New Hampshire, because the nearest alternative option to go offshore in winter is out of Montauk, Rhode Island. This year is the first in a long time that Eastmans has pushed past mid-December, which is when they usually quit (mid-Dec. still makes them the latest operators in NH by several months). My gut tells me they wont try to... Continue Reading →

Jeffreys Ledge Pomarine Jaegers

I visited Jeffreys Ledge today with Eastmans and was pleasantly surprised by the action. Normally mid-July to mid-September is peak on the ledge, but this summer the birds didn’t materialize, perhaps related to food distribution in the Gulf of Maine (itself related to ocean warming?). The numbers today were actually quite impressive given the time of year, in contrast to earlier in the season. Alcids were absent (razorbills excepted), but a good show of Great Shearwater, Northern Fulmar , and Pomarine Jaeger, and one apiece of Iceland and Glaucous. Contrast this with my high count of Great Shearwater from this... Continue Reading →