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.
While my kid was ogling the lone Canada Goose (“Geese!”, he insisted) and “Mr. Mallard” (we just turned him on to “Make Way for Ducklings”) in the Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia on Saturday, I spied my FOY Carolina Wren in the growing foliage.
In the UK we are asked to not drive for recreational purposes so nearly all of us just walk locally. For me that includes walking beside a tidal estuary where the best bird was a Black Tailed Godwit in near summer plumage. UK birders are now avidly watching their gardens. Mine boasted a pair of Blackcaps, almost certainly newly arrived migrants. Stay safe and well. Tony , Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK
Ovambo Sparrowhawk – Drying out in the open after nearly 24 hrs of rain..
As a city-dweller, my local walk leads up a wooded slope right next to Heidelberg/Germany, where not too many good birds are to be found. Best birds are invariably, since the beginning of March, the pair of Middle Spotted Woodpeckers. No rarities by any means, but a bit on the better side of “common”.