Day 136 - Everyday I'm Hustling

Sunday, May 15, 2016 2 Comments A+ a-

I knew when migration hit in full stride I would start picking up year birds in bulk. The last week had been great, and today I reached the proverbial summit. Year birds were popping up at every turn, and by the end of the day I had added 12 species to my list. In a sense it was the culmination of migration even though we're still in the midst of it for several more weeks. I won't dwell on that but instead talk about the birds.

I packed a full day of birding in, because it being the height of migration meant there was a lot to see. The morning started with my year Garden Exile. This simple but elegant bird is limited here in Narnia and there are a handful of very reliable locations to see it. I would have knocked it out in the coming weeks, but saved myself further search with the easy add. I headed to a popular migrant destination with hopes of netting a vagrant of some sorts--instead I found the trees dripping with hustlers... They had been scant thus far but in a matter of 2 hours I had wrangled up 5 new species for the year. I won't wax about the hustlers, only to say by process of eliminating other groups of birds, you might be able to guess the family. Tree-top, River, Tiny-billed, Arid, and Hillside Hustlers were all new, and filled some major gaps in my list.

Despite the searching, I couldn't find anything out of the normal though. It was the middle of migration and while getting the usual suspects is needed, you have to come up with some good unexpected birds to really make an impact. I worked my way along a lake where I picked up my American Kink and Usual Hiker for the year. The viewing conditions were horrendous though, and I am 2 species short in one category for spring migration. I might be able to snag them in the fall, but I can seriously see me missing one of the two all together. I had both in my previous attempt, so they were must-gets for 2016.

As the day continued I spotted a surprise Kettle Sentinel. I figured this would be a September addition, and still hope for another so I can get a photograph. I missed the opportunity today, and hate to leave anything without photo.

As the day came to an end I added 3 more year birds in Glorious Singer, Moth Thief, and Forest Bellower. All were easy finds and I will see/hear plenty of each in the coming months which is a good things since I passed on any photos I might have been able to get.

The next two weeks will probably fly by and then the slow 7 month drag begins. I waited all winter for May, and its already 1/2 over. This game is the ultimate hustle. Like the hustlers I saw this morning, I have to take advantage of every opportunity I get.  For them it's food, for me, everyday I'm hustling to make sure I find as many birds as possible in 2016.

New birds today: 12
Year List: 276


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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...


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May 27, 2016 at 12:41 AM delete

Kettle Sentinel is very obviously a Broad-winged Hawk. I'm assuming the hustlers are warblers, and the river hustler is probably a waterthrush.

June 1, 2016 at 10:25 AM delete

That's pretty logical. What about Swanson's Hawks though? They kettle as well? Tricky tricky. And as for the hustlers, you might be on to something...