I was looking forward to the New York State Young Birders Club kickoff meeting this year, as I have in the past. I go not just for the birding, I go because these are my kind of birders: the ones who have the energy to keep up with my style of birding. The birding part was shorter than I would've liked, but it was really cold that day, although we still got a few good birds, mainly Fox Sparrows, Common Merganser, Bald Eagle, American Goldfinch, and a Merlin.
Our checklist can be found here: ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41895421
Once we had warmed up, we met at the Mariandale Retreat (where we met last year) and introduced ourselves. Then we started our presentations: Lila Fried gave a presentation on her work as a field biologist, Jordan Spindel on digibinning, Garret Van Gelder on the evolution of birds, Nick Kachala on his big days. During our lunch break, Ryan, Jordan, Hannah, Kai, and myself discussed some of our past birding plans, what was happening with other young birders, and future birding plans. After lunch, we listed some potential trips for this year. We had already confirmed a Montauk trip for February, as well as adding the following possibilities:
I had to pop out early because I wanted to chase a few rarities, or more realistically, a rarity. I had two options: Black-headed Gull in Brooklyn and Ross's Goose in Queens. Knowing that Brooklyn was impossible to get in and out of during rush hour, my dad and I went for the goose, which I had quickly spotted upon arrival. On the drive home, I saw a flyover Common Raven. Would that be my last new bird from winter break???
The morning of my return to ESF, I didn't have time to chase any rarities, so the only new bird I got was a Northern Flicker in my yard.
To be continued...
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