Day 305 - October's Over, Where'd The Wild Things Go?

Monday, October 31, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

The slowdown continued for the last 10 days of the month. Just as fast as things got hot mid-month, they slowed back to a crawl for the remainder of October. I also have to admit that I failed to include one species on my previous post that was seen the day before I published. I had already written and scheduled the post for the 21st before that date and didn't add in a bird I saw on the 20th. The bird on the 20th was the last new bird I saw for the month...

One thing that has become overtly apparent this year is the lack of sharing going on in the community. The shift to Facebook from local listservs, and to eBird have greatly diminished the number of shared up-to-the-minute sightings. It is awful. I missed at least 2 birds in October because of this. Both are birds I readily would have dropped everything to chase had I gotten an email when reported. Both may be complete misses for the year now--which would make this sting even more. The worst part is that some of it comes from a place of selfishness, that is incomprehensible in an activity like birding. It isn't a case of new birders not knowing any better--it is the case of people who have decided they have no desire to share.

I for my part have also kept several things off the radar this year. My reasons are just as selfish. But, I can honestly say that what I share far outweighs what I don't. Which is why I don't feel bad about my latest secret find. Now, to be honest the bird was on private property not accessible to the public. I had received the owner's permission to take a look around the property a few times this year and have taken advantage. When I walked up to a patch of trees and began to pish I didn't expect the Tiger Migrant to flutter out onto a branch--but I sure was excited about the find.

I tucked the sighting away on my spreadsheet of birds found this year, submitted a checklist without the bird, and left it at that. As far as anyone else was concerned the Tiger Migrant was never seen. No one could've chased it without trespassing, and I didn't want to share. I was fed up with the way others were acting, and given the big years others were having in Narnia it was hard to trust some people to stay away given some events that had happened earlier in the year.

I had expected another pickup or two in the waning days, but here it is October 31st and nada. 4 new year birds in a 31-day span. While I hoped for more species, all is not lost. For starters, of the birds I hoped for in the last half of October, almost every species is still possible the remainder of the year. All is not lost. What this could mean is that I have an exceptionally great November with perhaps as many as 10 new year birds. It's certainly possible. But oh, where did those wild things go?

The bulk of the regular passerine migration is all but over here in Narnia. There will still be winter songbirds that haven't arrived yet, but the big push is done. That means warblers are all but out of the question from here on out. So let's talk a little bit about warblers and what I saw this year. I can't give you specifics on exactly how many I saw, but I saw all but 2 regularly occurring species in 2016. I should have gotten both as I did in my previous big year. Outside of the regulars, I saw an additional 5 species that aren't seen regularly or require a chase most years when reported. Of all the warbler species reported in Narnia this year I missed 4 species.

From here on out if I add any species of wood warblers they will all be unexpected and a bonus for the year. And usually, every winter brings at least one surprise like this to Narnia. But as October progressed, and migration slowed, the warbler flight diminished too. The wild things left, and I was a species or two short of expectations I had...

There are officially 61 days left in 2016. I would really like to see another 17-20 species of birds this year. I don't want to settle for much less--and really need to get just about everything reported from here on out. There will probably be more of others not sharing, and potentially more of me doing the same. For every bird I haven't shared this year--there are 20-30 I have (literally). Really, I just want these 61 days to pass quickly so I can be done with this ridiculous endeavor. No matter how it ends, it will be a relief to not constantly be thinking about this stuff any more...

New birds this post: 1
Year List: 343


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