So many people devoted serious time this weekend to acquiring gifts for family, friends, and strategic acquaintances. Hopefully, each of you found time to give yourselves the gift of a decent bird sighting or two.

I tried to rustle up some Short-eared Owls down at Nations Road, a notorious haunt for these magnificent beasts. Curse my rotten owl luck, I didn’t see a single one, but did manage a pale Rough-legged Hawk. Corey’s Best Bird of the Weekend was a surprise at Shu Swamp while participating in the North Nassau Christmas Bird Count. He’d heard reports of Virginia Rail being present there in winter but was amazed when one responded to a recording! Rails are awesome and an unexpected rail (like the one pictured above that overwintered in Rochester) in winter is even better.

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 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.