Every self-described birder grapples sooner or later with the question of misplaced rarities, namely whether or not to chase them. Weird birds seem to pop up in many parts of the world with an unpredictability that is somewhat predictable. For example, if you live in the southeast United States, you might not be able to predict which Caribbean vagrants will blow in, but you can bet a few tasty ones will make landfall every year. Then you have to decide if you are a chaser. No judgment either way, but don’t forget that birding is supposed to be fun!
Case in point: Corey’s Best Bird of the Weekend was the one he headed out west to meet me for, the first New York record of Garganey! Though the views were distant and the duck was small, the sight of the cute little dabbler (seen in photo with Wood Duck) made the five-hour ride back to New York City much more tolerable! While I was also pleased with spotting this mega, I enjoyed so many other birds of the day more, from new warblers for the year to New York State’s most reliable Sandhill Cranes. Best of the lot for me were the many Black Terns seemingly unimpressed with the celebrity duck in their midst.
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.
Mike, only you could see a first state record bird and choose Black Tern as your BBOTW instead…
No cranes or Garganey in Costa Rica so I choose Fiery-billed Aracari instead.
We set up a new bird-feeding pole system here on the Olympic Peninsula, so I spent much of the weekend watching American Goldfinches, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Rufous Hummingbirds, and others enjoy it. My best bird was a Downy Woodpecker, who arrived while I was standing a few feet away on the deck.
After what I would consider an epic weekend of waders, 11 different herons and egrets, I have to say that my BBOTW is our first ever Black Skimmers here in the La Paz, Mexico tidal flats. Over 30 of these beaurtiful birds showed up, and made for some great photography!!
Garganey. A bird I’ve wanted to see since 2011, when I decided not to twitch one in Ohio (I was at the New River Festival in W.V. at the time, so the idea wasn’t THAT crazy). I was excited to see several Garganey earlier this year, in India, so the Montezuma NWR duck was “just” an ABA and NYS bird. Good enough! And, I had the added value of a Mike Bergin sighting!