Those of us in the United States are celebrating Memorial Day Weekend, normally a time to gather with friends and family for barbecues, beach outings, and other fun group activities. This year, the more somber aspect of Memorial Day, remembering fallen soldiers, is perhaps more on our minds as we cope with the staggering losses from the pandemic. Though we may not be able to enjoy our normal Memorial Day gatherings one thing is constant whether there is a pandemic, a war, or any other calamity: there are birds.

Perhaps for those of us in the northeastern United States the number of birds this weekend has been a bit of a disappoint though. Weather patterns have been far from ideal for us to get our last big burst of migrating spring songbirds and the parks seemed relatively quiet this weekend, with few but local breeders there to be seen. Despite the shortage of migrants Mike made his annual run to Rush Oak Openings–New York’s only oak openings–for reliable Blue-winged Warbler and was not disappointed.

While Mike was busy looking for breeding wood-warblers I spent my time scouring Queens for something new for my year list. I failed but I did greatly enjoy trying to digiscope swifts and swallows feeding over Meadow Lake, with the emphasis on “trying” as the vast majority of the photos I got were out-of-focus, out-of-frame, or just lousy. But I did get a couple of passable shots of Barn Swallows, like the one at the top of this post, so I’ll make them my Best Bird of the Weekend.

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.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.