One question every self-described birder must grapple with is to twitch or not to twitch. Some of us love to chase down preposterous vagrants, while others eschew bird chasing for contemplation of standard local fare and seasonal specialties. I raise this perennial issue because I found myself twitching a rare ABA bird this weekend. Did you?
My ill-advised twitch was a run for the Long Island Ruffs recently spotted on the south shore. Corey and I staked out the location early in the morning and logged a lot of time waiting for either of them to show. Alas, they both kept their heads down until long after we’d left. So Corey returned the next day to bag one as his Best Bird of the Weekend. This is why I hate twitching! Denied a Ruff, I had to make to do with a very handsome, very obliging, very early Hooded Warbler at Oakland Lake in Queens. The bonus Donna sighting at the same location made the trip worth it!
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.
44 Little Curlew flying in a V formation over our home heading north on migration. Bird species 321 for the year. 🙂
No frustrating twitching for me. Instead, I focused on birding rich, foothill rainforest near San Ramon, Costa Rica (which is almost like twitching anyways). Best bird was Blue and gold Tanager.
I’m torn between my first Barred Owl and my first Virginia Rail. Both were awesome!!!! You know it’s a great weekend when there’s more than one “best”!
Worm-eating warbler in Prospect Park. And sadly, I visited Oakland Lake and missed the Hooded.
My best birding “experience” of the weekend was rescuing and releasing an osprey that had gotten tangled in fishing line and had a hook through its foot……You can see pictures and video here…..http://www.flickriver.com/photos/bri1970/sets/……..Although it could have been very bad for the poor osprey, it turned out to be a happy ending 🙂
Our spring migrants are finally starting to trickle in (despite the continuing snow storms here in northern Wisconsin), and having a Fox Sparrow hanging around our feeders in the snow this weekend was a treat.
Western Wood Pewee at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, El Paso, TX.
One Black-capped Chickadee sitting in a tree by my front door instead of flitting madly about like they usually are!
Best Bird of the Weekend award goes to the Long-eared Owl that put up with stares from multiple birders and Earth Day cleanup do-gooders on Saturday. But by far the *coolest* sighting was one gregarious and confiding Redgannet who flew in to Chicago last night and was the best thing by far I found at Montrose this morning!
Had a first of the season female Painted Bunting at my feeders this weekend! Hopefully the male will make an appearance some time.
Our Saturday & Sunday were disgracefully cold but I was happy to see my first-of-the-year Spotted Sandpiper today and a bunch of Bonaparte’s Gulls on Friday, both days being a part of my long weekend.
I rarely chase birds ( I guess that’s twitching is it?) although I did rouse myself to see a Kirtlands Warbler a year ago. I’m more captivated by the moment than rarities or list-making.
More on the Spotted Sandpiper and the Bonaparte’s Gulls at http://www.mybirdoftheday.ca
Birds were quite thin on the ground for me, this weekend, so there was no real contender for best bird. There was a definite WORST bird, though: the Western/glaucous-winged hybrid gull that vomited all over my balcony, Sunday morning. That was truly uncalled-for.
Awesome weekend birds (and birders) all around.
@Monica, a Worm-eating Warbler is better in my book than a Hooded, but just barely!
@ Socar, don’t you wonder why that gull singled you out?
@Meredith, that is one birder I don’t have on my life list. Lucky!
Ha, I don’t wonder so much…I have been shooing that gull from my feeder for months. It is a big, messy bird, and it frightens the other birds away, and eats EVERYTHING. From its point of view, that gull has every reason to hate me; it doesn’t understand why I’d put out food, then stop it from having more than a few bites at a time. I wouldn’t mind so much, but my budget is not unlimited. I can’t afford to feed it AND the mate it’s recently started bringing around, all day long.
(Though, I doubt it has the capacity for the sort of malicious thought that would inspire it to vomit spitefully on my balcony. That was probably an accident.)
My best weekend bird was hearing the marvelous Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Went back the next day and it was still there. So awesome a sound and an early record, too.