On Friday evening we gathered ready to bird,
So many bloggers it felt like a herd.
Our crew was Will, Patrick, Mike and me
And Henslow’s Sparrow was our first bird to see.

The ride to the west was rapid and fun
Racing to take advantage of light from the sun.
Once we reached the the county Schoharie
We were on alert for the sparrow so wary.

We could hear it calling from out in the field
In the same place that always a Henslow’s Sparrow does yield.
It perched pretty far back, too far back to well see
The sparrow we wanted, “Patrick, your Swarovski?”

He unlimbered his scope and focused the bird
And gave a yelp of an unprintable word
He gave it in joy though, for it was a lifer
(I think if it were a woman he’d have made it his wife, sir).

We all put our eyes to the scope for a view
And lingered for a moment or possibly two.
Then on with our search for more field birds rare
To Montgomery County for Upland Sandpipers fair.

Upland Sandpiper

Reusing a slightly out-of-focus picture? You bet!

That bird it was easy, we spotted it quick!
Flying over a field, for Mike a life tick.
Of course we wanted a better look,
But it stayed in deep grass, birders forsook.

Oh well, we saw it, and could always come back
We drove on to find more birds we did lack.
Meadowlarks and swallows, harriers too,
Kestrels and Killdeer and of turkeys a few.

Back around to the field that held the sandpiper
Where we got Mike much better views of his lifer!
It actually foraged in a lawn of cut grass,
The viewing so good we could not just pass

By, so we lingered awhile.
When we left we all wore a smile.
But we were still missing a sparrow obscure,
The Grasshopper Sparrow, which should be a sure

Bet to see in the fields we were searching.
But the missing sparrow my word was besmirching.
We finally found one singing at last.
Got lousy looks till it flew off fast.

Oh well, we’d all seen them at one time or another
And it was time to head to the mother
Of all marshes in Albany County
To take advantage of the rail and bittern bounty.

But the wind it was blowing, the sun it was sinking
The birding would be tough, is what we were thinking.
And we were right, most birds would not call,
After success in the fields we’d hit a wall.

But Virginia Rails and Marsh Wrens came through
And Swamp Sparrows sang as they usually do.
Waiting for bitterns to go on the prowl
All we could hear was our stomachs growl.

Marsh Wren!

Okay, so I was too lazy to carry my camera, so here’s an old picture of a Marsh Wren.

Oh well, we had tried, and it was time for some rest.
We went on our way, we had done our best.
Gassed up the car, gathered supplies, and prepared
For our early start to Wakely Mountain where

We hoped for the Bicknell’s Thrush to appear,
And give us great looks and bring us great cheer.
So off to bed where I’ll stop this story in verse
Come back tomorrow and see if I can do worse!

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.