Call me a curmudgeon, but I just have not been pumped up for migration this spring and often let the world of birds buzz around me without taking notice.
Maybe it’s work, maybe it’s my unfinished taxes, maybe it’s the fact that the regulars have become blasé, but my obliviousness is mostly due to my OCD over ESOWs for TOBY (Tommy’s Owl Big Year). Nights are filled with mining the data, pumping the contacts, and even prowling the woods. There has been little time for the ordinary. This indifference should not be mistaken for a lack of awareness of my surroundings or of the current events in the birding world.
Sometimes things do catch my attention requiring me to investigate matters further.
As I’ve been Screeching lately, some of the ordinary birds have stopped me cold–only because I thought I was taking machine gun fire. Turns out it was just a Good God Bird.
Screech-Owls love tree cavities. So do Wood Ducks. Still, I was astonished to find no fewer than six pairs of Wood Ducks in the treetops in two small city parks.
The Eastern Screech-Owl focus has been pretty laser-like, but I am still doing my due diligence when it comes to listing/chasing.
I recently went after a lifer Red-throated Loon in Brainerd which had a decidedly not-red throat and even more decidedly un-Loonlike appearance, as in it didn’t appear at all. The consolation was a small flock of Bohemian Waxwings under a blue sky.
Also in recent birding adventures, I picked up MN #299, Mountain Bluebird, after two attempts. I even have a crappy photo to prove it.
A nearby American Tree Sparrow was slightly more accommodating.
At the county level, progress on the list has been steady, albeit unexciting. Ross’s Goose was a solid add and bonus points were earned for a three-Goose photo.
Another overdue addition was American Woodcock, peenting style. (Turn the volume way up)
Though not a new county bird, I continue to document the rare ones, like the Mute Swan, for eBird.
One only knows what more will show up this migration. One bird that migration won’t drop in my lap is the Eastern Screech-Owl. For that I must fight the good fight and play the numbers game. I’ve got two months to figure it out. The truth is I love the focus of a singular goal, even more so when it’s a challenging one. Bring it on, Screech.