Lifers indicated in bold
When I went back to ESF on Monday, I wasn't too confident that I would get a lot of new birds (aside from Common Redpoll and House Finch last week).
That's not the point of this chapter, however. At the moment I started writing this, I am sitting at 248 for my ABA Yearlist.
My original plan for this chapter was to write about a field trip to the Adirondacks, which unfortunately got cancelled because too many people signed up (try figuring THAT logic out). That meant I needed a good rarity for my #250 bird, but which one? I first tabled the long-staying ABA first Mistle Thrush in New Brunswick as well as a Golden-crowned Sparrow in the same province and the Kelp Gull in Nova Scotia (the only non-lifer of the three) because I knew from past experience that the odds of the ESF birding club being able to chase rarities are, to quote C-3P0, "3720 to 1." Same for the Gyrfalcon in New Jersey and the Barnacle Goose in Westchester. There was a Slaty-backed Gull in Oswego county, which was the ideal species to chase. With my mom coming up in a week, the only thing I could do in the meantime is wait...
Before my mom and I set out to try our luck with the Slaty-back, I warned her that it would be hit or miss. Just as I had predicted, there were no gulls in the Oswego Harbor. We then tried the spot where it had first been seen, along with a European Mew Gull (or Common Gull if you prefer). This location was better. First I had seen a Kumlien's type Iceland Gull for #249, then in the distance, I spotted a large white bird circling the dam. Was it a Snow Goose? A swan? Snowy Owl? No, it was obviously a gull, but which one? I first eliminated Ivory due to it having pink bill with a black tip, plus an Ivory Gull would have birders swarming the location. I eliminated light immature Iceland because of it's size. There was no mistaking: this a first cycle Glaucous Gull! Year bird #250 also happened to be a lifer as well! I also saw two male Common Goldeneyes, a female Red-breasted Merganser, and an immature Bald Eagle. Proud of reaching the halfway mark, we headed back to Syracuse for the day.
The next day, my mom and I birded the Mucklands around Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We didn't see too much, but Hairy Woodpecker (#251), a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk (#252), and a "Northern" Red-tailed Hawk (abieticola subspecies) were good finds...
To be continued...
The YB Odyssey Facebook Page
My Flickr site
Leica Nature Observation Blog
Young Birders of the Round Table
crazed4birds (Drew Beamer)
Blue Ridge Birding (Max Nootbaar)
Whimbrel Birders Club
The Eyrie (ABA Young Birders)
The Birding Place (Aidan Place)
Lost In Nature (Jared Gorrell)
Bird Boy Canada (Ethan Denton)
Prairie Birder (Charlotte Wasylik)
Wing Tips (Tessa Rhinehart)
Soar Birding & Nature Tours (Noah Kuck)
Setophaga dominica (Oscar Wilhelmy)
Is yours not featured? Let me know