Activities and Interests
Peter's interests include international
travel, classical music, "oldies-but-goodies," stamp collecting, and
He is President of the Cape Cod Bird Club, Vice-President
of the Harvard Club of Cape Cod,
and President of the Cape Cod Area
chief hobby is bird watching and, as
of August 23, 2021:
- Peter’s World life list (Clement’s 6th edition including
updates through August 2021) stands at 6704 species (out of a possible 10824):
6514 seen and 190 heard only.
- Peter’s US Lower 48 life list (ABA area) stands
at 688 species (out of a
possible 800+). His latest ABA lifers
were two species in California in
March of 2019: 1 world lifer (Island Scrub-Jay) and one other (Nanday
Parakeet—an introduced species from South
However, in the latest Clement’s Update through August
2021, he lost one species—Northwestern Crow (merged with American
- Peter’s World Family life list now totals 233 out of 248 recognized families of living species (all
the species of one additional family are extinct). Needed families include:
Sheathbills, Magellanic Plover, Plains Wanderer, Ibisbill, Shoebill,
Sapayoa, Mottled Berryhunter, Hyliotas, Spotted Elachura, Hylocitra,
Hypocolius, Dapple-throats, Przevalski’s Pinktail, Chat-tanagers,
and Cuban Warblers.
- Peter has posted 837 photos to eBird, representing 634 different species.
- The August 2021 annual taxonomic update of
the Clements List resulted in a net 32 species gain to Peter’s
list (1 new species, 34 splits, and 3 lumps).
- In October 2019, we took a three-week trip to
Northern Italy. No new lifers were seen. A shutterfly album can be viewed
- In April 2019, we took a three-week trip to Berlin, the Elbe
Krakow, and Warsaw. No new lifers were seen. Shutterfly album can be viewed here.
- In January 2019, a trip to Australia and SE
Asia netted 113 new species: 45 during a 6-day pre-cruise trip in
Western Australia; 64 more during a 21-day Holland America Cruise from
Perth to Singapore via Geraldton, Broome, the Kimberly, Darwin, Dili
(East Timor), Komodo, Bali, Sulawesi, and two stops in Java; 2 species
in Singapore; and a final 2 more species in adjacent Peninsula Malaysia. The Western Australia trip was led by
Frank O’Connor and organized by my good birding buddy, Barbara
Harvey. From the cruise
ship, I was able to book local bird guides, who took us to wonderful
habitats where we found many marvelous species. In Singapore, we were guided
by the incomparable Subaraj Rajathuri, who died suddenly and
prematurely the following November. Here are some of the best bird photos
and animal photos.
- In March-April 2018, a 28-day transatlantic
cruise on the Holland America Prinsendam
added 28 lifers: 4 in Puerto Rico (Yellow-shouldered Blackbird and
Puerto Rican Parrot, Nightjar, and Tanager); 7 in Cape Verde; 2 in
Gambia (Western Red-billed Hornbill and White-backed Night Heron); 1 in
Senegal (Sudan Golden Sparrow); 9 in the Canary Islands; 4 in Morocco
(House Bunting, Moussier’s Redstart, Northern Bald Ibis, and
Barolo Shearwater); and 1 off southern Spain (Balearic
Shearwater). A well-photographed Fea’s
Petrel was Peter’s milestone 6500th Life Bird. Shutterfly album can be
- In January 2018, a two-week trip to Phoenix, AZ,
and Mazatlan, Mexico,
added 13 lifers: 3 in the USA
and 10 in Mexico (Rufous-bellied Chachalaca, Elegant Quail,
Aztec Rail, Mexican Woodnymph, Mexican Parrotlet, Spotted Wren, and
three wonderful jays—Tufted Jay, Purplish-backed Jay, and
While in Phoenix,
Elaine and Peter visited Mal and Riet. Shutterfly album can be viewed here.
- 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
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 location. Shutterfly album can be viewed here.
- 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
- 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,
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 Mykonos,
and the southern desert),
Egypt (Suez Canal,
Safaga and Luxor), Jordan, the Red Sea, Oman (Salalah and Muscat), &
United Arab Emirates (Dubai and a Nature Reserve). Pre-trip stay in Athens (2
days) and post-trip stay in Dubai (2
days) added 16 lifers.
- In August 2016, we visited England with our
daughter and grandson. Great
fun but no lifers were added.
- In May 2016, after a brief visit to Lisbon, we
made a 5-day stopover in Furnas on Sao Miguel
Island in the Azores, where
we added 2 lifers (Island Canary and Azores Bullfinch).
- In April 2016, we visited Slovenia, Croatia,
along the Adriatic Coast.
No lifers were added.
- Over New Year’s in January 2016, we
cruised the Western Mediterranean. No lifers were added.
- 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 report.
Selected bird photos can be found here.
- In Sep-Oct 2013, a fabulous trip to South Africa
(with a visit to Sani Pass,
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
- 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 many
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 Swallow,
Giant, Nava’s, Rufous-browed, and Sumichrast’s Wren,
Blue-and-white Mockingbird, Slate-colored Solitaire, Rufous-collared
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 Oriole.
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).
You may 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 viewing.