I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to spend my birding time. I guess it’s because with the time change, I now only get to bird 2 days a week. When your time to bird is that limited, you want to make it count or get as much out of it as you can. I’ve been asking myself a couple of different questions, usually the night before going out:
- What birds would I really enjoy seeing tomorrow? That is, of the birds that are likely to be around, what’s going truly bring me joy?
- What kind of birding experience am I hoping for? Am I hoping for a peaceful walk in the woods? Or maybe try and cover some territory in Orange County, driving to multiple spots?
My birding time on Saturday was limited, so I tried to relocate the Northern Shrike I found last week in the morning, but was unsuccessful. In the evening, I had gulls on the brain, so I headed to the Newburgh Waterfront where I found a fairly sizable accumulation of the three expected species of gull (Ring-billed, Herring, and Great Black-backed), but nothing out of the ordinary (I was hoping for Iceland or who-knows-what). A RED-THROATED LOON flying downstream was nice consolation prize.
Today, I had geese on my mind. Both Barnacle and Pink-footed had been reported the day before in Massachusetts, and I’m really hoping to get one or both in our area this year. I found large groups of Canada Geese in 6 locations this morning and sifted through them in the rain without any luck. I really enjoy looking through geese, but the rain can make it frustrating. I have the gear to stay dry, but I just can’t keep my optics dry, especially if I’m looking into the wind. Anyways, it’s early in the season so I’m still hoping we will get lucky with these birds. Especially Barnacle Goose, that would be awesome.