Day 69 - The Unexpected Wave

Wednesday, March 09, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

Well today certainly turned into something interesting. I had no intentions of making it a new bird day. I decided I could make a short drive just to see what birds were on the move thinking I might add one species if luck was on my side. I pulled onto a back road I often drive and bird that is paid little attention by most birders. That makes it no surprise that on this lonely stretch of road I have found a handful of really great birds.

As I pulled along I noticed a distant flock of birds and approached slowly. Immediately I got excited because I knew it was a mixed flock of Sombre-chaps. Right away a Gilded Sombre-chap popped out at me--then 3, 4, 5 and finally a 6th one. First of the season. While I was scanning I suspected I would add my first Worst-bird-ever for the year. Moments later I spotted one hopping amongst the flock. Rats. In reality this species isn't all that bad. It has some habits frowned upon by many birders, but truly is an interesting species.

I continued scanning when the prize of the day popped out--an Corrupt Sombre-chap. Year birds number 3 and one I wasn't sure I would add in 2016. I always look for this species and have found my fair share over the years, so it was nice to have it pay off today.

I continued about my business wondering how many more could I add. I headed to nearby wetland where as I came to a stop I spotted my first Miniature Hood of the season. 4 new year birds in less than 20 minutes. I decided to take a short walk to see if I could turn up another bird. 5 new years birds on a short outing in mid-March certainly seemed odd. And it would be odd. No other new year birds surfaced.

Here it is 9 days into March and I have 8 new year birds. That is roughly 1/3 of the 25 I hoped to turn up this month and just under 1/3 of the way through the month. I went through my expected bird list and narrowed 14 birds down to species I know I will see this month. That still leaves me 3 short of my goal meaning there will need to be a few unexpected birds showing up. And with migration squarely underway I suspect that's a real possibility!

New birds today: 4
Year List: 158


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I'm on a mission to see as many birds as I can in 2016... within the borders of my home state. The only catch is I'm not telling anyone that I'm doing a Big Year...