It was a gusty weekend in New York City and environs, with fall finally feeling like fall is supposed to feel. Sparrows have almost completely taken over for wood-warblers and temperatures are finally waning as is only proper. How was your weekend?
Mike was in Costa Rica this weekend after what felt like an interminable delay at the airport in Atlanta where he had to change planes. He lost nearly a day off of his trip but I am sure that he managed to see some birds once he arrived. Let’s assume that he saw something delightful and tropical like, say, the national bird of Costa Rica.
I, on the other hand, had a very busy weekend that included seeing The Big Year (look for a review soon), joining the huge Occupy Wall Street rally in Times Square, taking Desi to the Queens Zoo, and driving upstate to visit the newest addition to the family, my nephew, Andrew Peter (Congrats Jonathan and Shannon!). I still managed to get to Jones Beach and see some birds and while I could choose Marbled Godwit, American Golden Plover, or Rusty Blackbird as my Best Bird of the Weekend I think I will choose the hordes of American Oystercatchers that are so fun to see. And, no, I am not at all bitter about the fact that someone found what would have been a lifer for me – a Gray Kingbird – at Jones Beach less than an hour after I left. No, not bitter at all, thanks for asking!
American Oystercatchers on the sandbar at the Jones Beach State Park Coast Guard Station
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.
The weekend in Dubai is on Friday, so if I stretch a point to Thursday evening being the start of the weekend, I will claim a dodgy Pallid Scops Owl and an Isablline Wheatear.
I’d be very bitter. Like, bitter bitter. You know, REALLY disappointed. Or just plain sad.
My best bird? Common Raven waaaaay out in the Rhine valley in Schwetzingen / Germany. Astounding so far away from the mountains. Not as astounding though as missing out on a Grey Kingbird at Jones Beach – I mean astounding in a positive sense.
Yesterday morning I went for a short walk before church and saw a giant bumblebee feeding at a patch of morning glories. Then I realized it wasn’t a bumblebee and thought it was a hummingbird. Then I realized it couldn’t be a hummingbird It turned out to be a hummingbird moth, maybe Hemaris diffinis? I’d never seen one before.
Mine was pretty mundane, but seeing as how I’ve not gotten out much lately, any bird would have been fine.
It was in downtown Minneapolis, at the start of the Big Gay Race (which I was not running/walking in, just supporting a friend). The bird was a bald eagle which soared around for a while mostly tacking against the wind so it was nicely in view for a while. Had it been the TINY gay race instead of the BIG gay race, the eagle might have swooped in and taken a runner. Close call.
I birded Prospect Park Sunday morning (my daughter lives in Brooklyn now…) without my camera. Which means I had the best close and personal views of Yellow-billed Cuckoo ever.
Greg, that’s a great sighting. Sometimes it’s not just the bird, its’ the bird and the place and the event.
A northern shoveler in a small stream on Attu.
Oh…wait….I may have just seen that in a movie this weekend.
My actual best bird was a Ross’s Goose at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan. He was hanging with 3,769 of his best Canada Goose friends.
I’ve seen Merlins before, but at the Illinois State Beach hawkwatch on Saturday, I saw two of them playing chicken with each other, kind of like a midair joust—both flew full speed ahead until one knocked the other silly. It was a you-had-to-be-there experience.
@ Kirby Adams: Funny, I think I saw the same bird on Attu! (And was surprised it hadn’t been seen earlier)
I guess it had to be the 4 whooper swans at the lake(Ringsjön)in the middle of Scania. The lake was still, the sky a cloud free blue and they where pure white!!! The trees surrounding the lake shifting colours to orange, yellow and red. Just pure autumn beauty!!
I’ve been having fun with some Least Flycatchers up in New Rochelle. They almost land on me as I try to catch photos of them in flight.
It’s a tough question. I did a point count for Partners-in-Flight in Orange County, CA, and the most exciting birds were a flock of 10 Lawrence’s Goldfinches (rather uncommon there). My friend and I also pished up a pair of coastal Cactus Wrens, which proceeded to do a big display for us about 20 feet away. This is exciting since this property suffered a severe burn back in fall of 2007 and Cactus Wrens were esentailly extirpated at that time. We had seen a lone bird in the one surviving prickly pear patch off and on for 3.5 years. Then suddenly, two birds together and interacting like that was awesome!
Migration has hit us big time, and there are plenty to choose from, but our best bird of the weekend was a Golden-winged Warbler in south Florida.