The checklist for a basic birding outing has become more complex during the COVID-19 crisis. Along with the usual optics and gear, you have to consider packing masks and antiseptic hand wash. Your choice for birding spot depends equally on the abundance of birds and scarcity of birders. Yes, birding may not be as carefree as usual, but the freedom, fun, and fascination the act elicits matters more now than ever.
Ivy and I couldn’t shake an owl out of Owl Woods but we walked away with all kinds of FOY species such as the unexpected Yellow-bellied Sapsucker calling high in a tree. Corey got away from his self-designated COVID-19 birding spot, Willow Lake, by taking calculated risks and birding some other locations in Queens in the early morning hours when there were very few people out and about. But it was during an outing to Rockaway Beach with his family on Sunday afternoon that he saw his Best Bird of the Weekend, his first Piping Plover of the year. In fact, he saw six! Social distancing was maintained the entire time, not too difficult to do on a beach when the weather isn’t warm.
How about you? What was your best bird of the weekend? Tell us in the comments section about the rarest, loveliest, or most fascinating bird you observed. If you’ve blogged about your weekend experience, you should include a link in your comment.