It was in September of last year, ten months ago, that I last wrote a post specifically dedicated to my life list of birds seen in my home borough, Queens. Since then I have added an impressive 23 birds to my Queens list, swelling it to 258.* Unfortunately for me, my arch-nemesis when it comes to Queens eBird listing, Doug Gochfeld, managed to bring his list up to 260, so I am playing second-fiddle to a Brooklynite in Queens again. But that is neither here nor there. What is important is that I finally have my Queens list on the blog for all to see, warts and all.**
And while I feel I have an impressive number of birds on my Queens list considering I have only lived in Queens since March of 2008, and I like thinking back to seeing some of the rarities on the list, I also like thinking about what birds might show up in Queens, get seen by me in Queens for the first time, and get added to the list. The last time I played this game I thought that I would soon add Saltmarsh Sparrow, Piping Plover, Orange-crowned Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Turkey Vulture, Cackling Goose, Ross’s Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Barrow’s Goldeneye, and Eurasian Wigeon. Of those ten birds I have since spotted half in Queens, leaving Connecticut Warbler, Turkey Vulture, Ross’s Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, and Eurasian Wigeon off the list. Considering that I managed to add 23 birds to my list since that prognostication it is pretty obvious that I am not good at this game.
my first Orange-crowned Warbler in Queens
Despite my bird-predicting handicap I will still make a list of the ten birds I think are likely to be the next ten birds on my Queens list. Please, if you are as absurdly obsessed with bird-listing esoterica as I am and if you have some free time on your hands feel free to check out my current Queens list and make a guess as to the next ten birds to make the list (you can leave your guess in the comments). After I’ve added ten more birds to my Queens list I’ll revisit this post and we can share a good laugh at how bad we are at this…
So, without further ado, the next ten birds I think I will add to my Queens bird list, in no particular order:
- Cory’s Shearwater
- Eurasian Wigeon
- Yellow-breasted Chat
- Marbled Godwit
- Brown Pelican
- Royal Tern
- Eastern Bluebird
- Long-eared Owl
- Turkey Vulture
- Purple Martin
So, what do you think? Will I get any of those ten before I get ten more? Am I on the money or wildly off base? Am I way too into my Queens list or is this obsession healthy (or at least not harmful)?
*It is 258 on eBird, where I can’t figure out how to leave my reports of exotic species off the list but in the database. It is actually 257 because, sadly, Black Swan shouldn’t really count as a species in Queens.
**And, considering I haven’t finished formatting it yet the list is pretty warty but you can get the idea.
Those all look reasonable to me, with the possible exception of Cory’s Shearwater. (I’m not really sure how common it is that close to shore.) I can’t believe you haven’t seen a Turkey Vulture in Queens yet! Are they really that rare?
@John: Cory’s and Greater (as well as Wilson’s Storm-Petrel) are all possible, if a bit unlikely.
And Turkey Vultures get spotted in Queens a couple of times a year but mostly avoid Long Island like the plague. My hope is that with an increased breeding presence in Suffolk County I might get lucky and see some either migrating there or back…
Doesn’t the Shearwater live right in your apartment?
Hey, where on your list is the Black Kite (Milvus migrans) I sent to you instead of a blinking Wheatear?