Happy New Year! I’m feeling pretty good about 2012 so far. Not only am I suffused with the pleasant warmth that comes with watching one’s favorite sports team clinch the playoffs, but I also managed to shake off a scant night’s sleep to chase some birds this morning. How about you?

My best bird of the year so far is selected from the plentiful waterfowl spotted at and around Montezuma NWR. Even the Mallards possessed that magic that blesses even banal birds on the first day of the year, but most pleasing were the veritable tons of Tundra Swans everywhere. Too bad the Snowy Owl that dad been haunting the Waterloo outlet mall parking lot didn’t stick around!  Corey, of course, carried his phenomenal bird-finding fortune into the New Year with an improbable to the point of being unprecedented Grace’s Warbler in New York. Ugh, right?

What was your best bird of the weekend (and the year?) 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. Also be sure to share your First Bird of 2012… in another day, nobody will want to hear about it!

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.