Day 135 - Migration Doesn't Stop

Saturday, May 14, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-


What, you thought migration was over. It's just getting hot! I made a trek around Narnia the past couple days tracking down a handful of must get species. Several had limited windows for seeing them--either due to their timing, or my ability to be where they are. With the undercover big year I really am limited in a sense. I have to plan trips and make them see like everyday birding, so I can be in the right place, at the right time, for the right birds. If I miss I may be up craps creek. That was the case with the past couple days. I made plans and had to be where I had to be. And it mostly paid off.

Friday started off with a quick pile of year birds. A calling Hidden Migrant was the first year bird of the morning, calling from a thicket where it was--hidden. This was followed almost immediately by a singing Ocean Zebra-bird which I didn't just want to hear, so I tracked it down, getting great looks while the sun lit the bird up perfectly. This species of Zebra-bird has a wide distribution in Narnia, but is very localized. Despite being found throughout the state, they are by no means common.

It wasn't too long after this that a must get bird for the year piped up from a tree high above. It was a singing Influential Poet. Like its sister species, this poet has a lot to say--and I always listen when it "talks". A singing male is a slam dunk on a species that sometimes can confuse even the most ardent observers. I enjoyed the song, and the outfit this poet sported. A real stunner, and a great year bird out of the way.

As the day went on the new year birds kept coming. A Plain Inspector followed by a Late-night Talker and things were looking good. The talker is a favorite of mine, but I only heard it today. I debated whether or not to share the next year bird by it's secretive, but suggestive name. It opens up the possibilities for eliminating states. But if you've been paying attention most of the states it eliminates should have already been obvious. The singing Average Wood-Pewee was easy to track down and hopefully this isn't too big of a giveaway. You decide what's average for you--Eastern or Western... I know what's average for me.

The day just kept producing and before long I have my first Kinfolk Migrant and a singing Drab Inspector. The forest I was birding in was certainly handing over some freebies and making things easy. But nothing was a given. In fact I missed one of the most common species I expected to come across. Now I have to make sure I get back at some point int he coming months to nail one down. Eventually I heard my first Hustler species for the year--an Average Hustler. It took longer than normal into the year to get one, and I had expected 2 or 3 species on the day. I happily took the year bird though.

The afternoon netted a Nutty Conquistador which saved me some time later on having to worry about tracking one down. Very limited in Narnia there are only 4 or 5 semi-reliable locations where they can be found. Apparently for the last year they have been rather sparse where I had mine, but it was an easy find on this day. And finally after several days looking I picked up a Disguised Colorful to end the day and leave just 2 target birds I needed before the week came to an end.

Saturday started off slowly. Migration seemed to have ground to a halt overnight and I didn't find a single new migrant for the year. Eventually a singing Desert Master-hustler brought my need list for the day down to one species. And just an hour later a gorgeous Quaker's Overseer wrapped up my needed year birds for the week. I spent a little time with the Quaker's, admiring their simple ways, and striking look. It had been a number of years since I had one, so I reveled in the moment and soaked in the experience. The past week had been huge, migration didn't stop despite one slow morning.  I had picked up 33 new year birds in the past 7 days and was right on pace where I needed to be for the year. I had some great finds, some necessary finds, and the expected finds of course. And as far as I know, my identity still remains a secret to most...

New birds today: 13
Year List: 264


Next Post

Previous Post

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...