Day 131 - Migration Happens

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 2 Comments A+ a-


May showed its glorious bounty this week, and it all started with a pair of Swordsman... They day started off with both Dark and Common Swordsman making a racket. I had managed to make it through 4 months without either--a feat in itself. One thing that will surprise some people at the end of the year, when I share common names of every species is how many common birds I either waited to look for, or managed to not have until months into the year. The swordsman are a prime example. But they were just the tip of the iceberg. It wasn't long into the week and I was picking up migrant. A Bobbing Migrant and a Fluorescent Kicker, combined with a Circus Sprinter and Marsh Migrant got my tally moving northward with the birds.

The common stuff in these waves of migrants really helps make you feel good and like things are on track. The longer the migrants take to arrive, the more pressing it feels like your big year is slowing in a pace. Birds like the Hillbilly Spinner which others were reporting days and weeks ahead of me seemed to evade me at every turn. I couldn't find a single one despite being in the right places at the right times. My lucky finally turned when I came across a small migrant flock. By the end of the week, I had seen more than my fair share.

When I spied my first Remarkable Poet of the year, I listened as it read to me. Like Shakespeare this poet has a repertoire for the ages. For the next several months I will probably hear them most days, and enjoy the specific brand of poetry they bring the table. I had a brief moment of high hopes for a rarity when I came upon my first Basic Maniac of the year. The views I had were sub par, and they told a story of a different species. It took 15 minutes to finally get a view that delivered the news--it was a common bird.

As the week came to a close I added two birds that had eluded me for some time. Both the Explorer's Dasher and the Strutting Bellower have been around for some time, but I had missed them. I snagged both in the same morning, and followed up with a Dusky Lounger in the afternoon. I expected to have to wait till the summer or fall for the lounger, but with an unexpected stop, I added the bird earlier than expected. This week migration happened and it was only the beginning...

New birds this post: 13
Year List: 244

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Greg M.
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May 23, 2016 at 2:22 PM delete

Hillbilly Spinner = Red-necked Phalarope.

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May 24, 2016 at 9:41 AM delete

Sounds pretty convincing ;)

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