Activities and Interests
Peter's interests include
international travel, classical music, "oldies-but-goodies," and
However, his chief hobby is bird watching.
As of November 21, 2017:
- Peter’s US life list
(ABA area) stands at 683 species
(out of a possible 800+). His latest ABA lifers were two recent (2014)
additions to the ABA list: introduced and now established Egyptian
Goose and Gray-headed Swamphen in Florida.
- Peter’s World life list
(Clement's 6th edition including updates through August 2017) stands at
6476 species (out of a
6287 seen and 189 heard only.
- In October – November
2017, a 37-day trip to the South
Pacific added 136 lifers.
The trip started in Honolulu;
then we sailed on the Holland America Noordam cruise ship to Auckland,
NZ, via Pago Pago, American Samoa;
Suva and Lautoka, Fiji;
Esau, Lifou, Ile des Pins, and Noumea, New Caledonia;
Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart (Bruny Island),
Australia; and Milford Sound, Dunedin, Picton,
Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, and Auckland, New Zealand. We finished with three days on
North Island of New Zealand.
I added several new
families including Kiwi, Kagu, New
Zealand Parrots, New Zealand Wrens, and New Zealand Mohouas.
In addition, throughout the trip, I was successful in finding and
identifying many pelagic
species. Click on the
bold-faced, underlined, blue links to see photo albums for each
- In March 2017, a 10-day birding
trip with WINGS to the Santa
Marta Mountains region of Northern Colombia and adjacent coastal
plain—via Miami and Barranquilla—added 48 lifers.
- In February – March
2017, a 21-day cruise on the Holland America Rotterdam to the Eastern Caribbean with stops in
Bahamas (Half Moon Cay), Dominican Republic (Amber Cove), Puerto Rico,
Tortola (BVI), Sint Maartin, Antigua,
Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent, Bonaire, Aruba,
Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island, and Cozumel Island added 40 lifers.
- In October – November
2016, a 21-day cruise on the Oceania Nautica with Elaine to Greece, Israel, Egypt, Jordan,
Oman, & United Arab Emirates. Pre-trip stay in Athens (2 days)
and post-trip stay in Dubai (2 days) added 16 lifers.
- In May 2016, a 5-day stopover
in Furnas on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores added 2 lifers (Island Canary and Azores Bullfinch).
- In October 2015, a 21-day
Field Guides “Safari Brazil” birding trip to Central Brazil: Campo Grande,
Pantanal, Emas NP, Belo Horizonte, Serra do
Cipo, Caraca, and Canastra
(Brazilian Merganser extension) added 46 lifers.
- In April-May 2015, a 18-day
vacation to Ecuador (San
Jorge lodges), a cruise on the M/V Eclipse in the Galapagos Islands, and a visit to Machu Picchu, Peru, via Cuzco and Lima added 30 lifers.
- In January 2015, a 11-day Southern
Caribbean cruise added 11 lifers—10 of them on St. Lucia,
where we hired a local naturalist guide. St. Lucia endemics seen included
St. Lucia Parrot, Warbler, Black-finch, and Oriole. The other lifers are Lesser Antillean
endemics like White-breasted and Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Antillean
Crested Hummingbird, Saltator, and Pewee, and Purple-throated
Carib. Barbados Bullfinch
was seen and photographed several times on Barbados. Selected photos
can be found here.
- In October 2014, a Field
Guides trip to Northwest
Argentina added 88 species including Andean and James’s
Flamingo, Rufous-throated Dipper, Red-tailed Comet, Giant and Horned
Coot, White-browed and Zimmer’s Tapaculo, Salinas Monjita,
Tucuman Parrot and Mountain-Finch, Crested and Sandy Gallito, White-throated Cachalote, Spot-winged
Falconet, and several new warbling-finches, brush-finches,
sierra-finches, and flycatchers.
Photos can be found here.
- In May 2014, Peter passed the 6000 threshold by seeing 121
new lifers on a very productive trip with Zoothera
Birding to Sichuan, China (see
this trip description). #6000 was a Chinese Gray
Shrike. There were many
highlights including Crested Ibis, Black-necked Crane, 13 new pheasants
and allies, 3 new woodpeckers, several parrotbills, 8 new tits, Ground
Tit, Firethroat, Crested and White-browed
Tit-Warbler, Sichuan Jay, Przevalski’s
and Snowy-browed nuthatches, Tibetan Lark, Slaty and Pallas’s
Bunting, numerous rosefinches and laughingthrushes, 3 new grosbeaks, 2 new snowfinches, 2 new accentors, and many new
bush-warblers and leaf-warblers.
Click here for a full trip
photos can be found here.
- In Sep-Oct 2013, a fabulous
trip to South Africa (with a
visit to Sani Pass, Lesotho)
with Birding Africa resulted in 512 species (including 210 lifers) with
many South African country and regional endemics. Highlights include Cape Griffin,
Black Harrier, Southern Bald Ibis, Buff-spotted Flufftail
(seen—two other flufftails heard only),
Damara Tern, Ground Woodpecker, lots of Karoo specialties, many endemic
larks and several endemic sunbirds, Knysna
and Livingstone Turacos, Cape and Gurney’s Sugarbirds, Cape and Drakensburg
Rockjumpers, Woodward’s and Pririt Batis,
Green-backed and Pink-sided Twinspot, and
Barratt’s, Knysna, Victorin’s,
and Namaqua Warblers—all hard to see skulkers. Click here to see
the list of species seen on the trip (one record per species per
country) and click
here for a full trip report. Photos of many of the South
African birds, mammals and scenery can be found here.
- In August 2013, he picked up
17 “armchair” species with the latest Clements updates
including Iberian Magpie, Japanese and Cinereous Tit, Blue-headed
Bee-eater, and Bismarck Crow along with several South American and
Southeast Asian splits. Click
here to see my
current eBird “Top 100” ranking. Click
here (and change
the number of records per page to 100) to see my ABA ranking—much
lower because not every ABA lister enters
sightings into eBird and, even if they do, they have not necessarily
had time to enter all their sightings records yet into eBird, so their
totals on eBird are lower than they are on the ABA Listing Central site
(e.g., #1 Peter Kaestner).
- In February 2013, a fabulous
and comprehensive tour of Ghana
with Birdquest (Nik Borrow, guide) delivered
217 new species (13 heard only) including such mega-specialities
as White-necked Rockfowl, Egyptian Plover,
Congo Serpent Eagle, Hartlaub’s Duck, Nkulengu Rail, Forbes’s Plover,
Standard-winged Nightjar, Rosy and Black Bee-eater, Yellow-throated and
Thick-billed Cuckoo, five spectacular turacos, and many new hornbills,
sunbirds, greenbuls, and weavers. Click here for the whole trip
report. For photos of
birds, click here;
for mammals, click here.
- In August 2012, the latest
Clements update added 14 “armchair” species including
splits of House Sparrow, Common Stonechat, Golden Whistler,
Little Spiderhunter, and a number of Philippine
species newly split from their south Asian congeners.
- In September 2011, a great
tour with Field Guides to Manaus
and the Brazilian Amazon resulted in 108 new species including
Harpy Eagle, Orange-breasted Falcon, many Guianan Shield endemics, and
lots of localized ant-“things”. Click here for the
whole trip report.
- In August 2011, the latest
Clements update added 13 “armchair” species including
Common Gallinule, Snowy Plover, and
a number of Philippine species newly split from their south Asian
- In July 2011, a wonderful tour
with Colombia Birding to the
East, Central, and Western Andes resulted in 123 new species including
Colombian endemics: parrots, hummingbirds, tanagers, and more. Click here for the
whole trip report.
- In November 2009, a cruise in French Polynesia (Tahiti,
Raiatea, Rangiroa, Huahine,
Bora Bora, and Moorea) yielded 12 new species including Tahiti Petrel,
Kingfisher, Monarch, Swiftlet, and Reed-Warbler; Kermadec
Petrel, Christmas Shearwater, Blue Noddy,
Gray-backed Tern, Gray-green Fruit-Dove, Blue Lorikeet, and Bristle-thighed Curlew. Click here for
the whole trip report.
- In July 2009, he added 47
species as a result of a 15-day birding trip with Legacy Tours to Southern Mexico.
Life birds included White-bellied Chachalaca, Great Curassow,
Double-striped Thick-knee, Tuxtla Quail-Dove, Pacific Parakeet, Pacific
Screech Owl, Blue-capped, Azure-throated, and Wine-throated
Hummingbirds, Slender Sheartail, Tody and
Blue-throated Motmot, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Yellow-bellied
Tyrannulet, Belted Flycatcher, Gray-collared Becard, Black-capped
Giant, Nava’s, Rufous-browed, and Sumichrast’s
Wren, Blue-and-white Mockingbird, Slate-colored Solitaire,
Aztec Thrush, Azure-hooded, Black-throated, Dwarf, and Unicolored Jay,
Slaty and Dwarf Video, Green Shrike-Vireo, Hooded Yellowthroat,
Pink-headed Warbler, Red-headed Tanager, Ruddy-breasted and Blue
Seedeater, White-throated Towhee, Bridled,
Cinnamon-tailed (Sumichrast’s), and
Oaxaca Sparrow, Rose-bellied (Rosita’s) Bunting, and Bar-winged
here for the whole trip report.
- In January 2009, he added 16
species as a result of a 6-day birding get-away to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Life birds included Ocellated
Turkey, Ruddy Crake, Gray-headed Dove, Yucatan Poorwill, Yucatan
Nightjar, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, White-bellied Emerald, Mexican Sheartail, Tawny-winged and Ruddy Woodcreeper,
Stub-tailed Spadebill, Yucatan Wren, Gray-throated Chat,
Yellow-winged Tanager, Green-backed Sparrow and Blue Bunting. Click here for
the whole trip report.
- His home yard list from July
1975 to February 2002 is available (click here).
select from the following to see a sampling of his photos and to download his
trip reports. Not all the sets of photos are available--these are marked with
an asterisk. The trip reports are in HTML format and may be printed after