Saturday, October 6, 2018

Global Big Day!

     Today was a global big day. That means it's an all you can bird feast for a full day!

     I birded with a few folks throughout the day but from 7:30am till nearly 5pm, I was able to attain just over 70 species. Within that list, we got the three falcons (American Kestrel, Merlin, and Peregrine), an amazing group of crows that chased and chased a red tail hawk, cooper's, sharp-shinned, and harrier, royal terns, a late least sandpiper, and the last bird of the day was a life bird for me, a dickcissel.
     We raised some money for CVTC in the process, so I am looking forward to what our efforts will reward this organization with!
     The day was overcast, we had to work for birds as much of our views were backlit, up high, and hard to make out. I took very few pictures-- mostly had it on me for if we had anything good or that I needed to prove on an eBird list - glad I had it!
     We birded 3 sites: Prospect Park, Plumb Beach, and Marine Park in Brooklyn.
I kind of expected to see royal terns today at Plumb Beach at low tide. So when I saw 4 in a row, sandwiching a laughing gull, I was pleased.

The coast was the area that best turned up white egrets, both great and snowy. This great egret dreams of being an osprey some day.

"What is that???!"

When strongly backlit, I doubted this as anything spectacular and thought I just had a house sparrow- but its head is so flat.... then, I stepped a few paces to the left, changed the way the light hit this bird and then we realized it had to be something else. Hints of yellow, those fine streaks...My preliminary guesses were bobolink (female/immature) and dickcissel. Definitely not bobolink, upon closer inspection and comparison to guides and google image searches (21st century birding, here). With some encouragement and confirmation from birding friends (thanks Molly & Jeffrey). We felt good confirming this as an immature dickcissel.
A life bird and a great one to end the day on!

I look forward to finding out how much we helped raise for a good cause, and I look forward to see what the compiled eBird lists for the day show for species count world-wide!
I hope folks had an amazing and birdful Big Day today!

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