Basic Birding

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With no rarities to chase the last several days, I got back to basics.  There were a number of birds in the county that I was sure were present, but I hadn’t made contact since the first of the year.  The weather has been a crazy rollercoaster this week which has made birding difficult at times.  That said, I spent the last couple of days trying to find some new birds.  The first couple of days I found nothing new.  Then yesterday, as so often happens with birding, this really began to jump.  I was birding in Phillipsport, an area I don’t often get to, when I happened upon some new birds.  I  was passing by the old Homowack Hotel when I spotted another flock of Canada Geese I hadn’t seen during the waterfowl count.  I pulled in to the side road to see if anything was with them.  I spished and flushed my FOS GREAT BLUE HERON for the county from along the nearby shore.  As I raised my camera to take a shot, a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD flew in, another FOS. As I took a photo of that, a NORTHERN FLICKER flew in.  Three new county year birds in less than a minute! That’s birding!   I also found a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker today, but that was my second so far this year.  I returned home for lunch, and headed back out later in the afternoon.  I went to the Deli Fields at the Bashakill, and for the first time in a while, I hit it right.  I had many American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Eastern Bluebirds and Woodpeckers.  The best birds however were a small flock of five FIELD SPARROWS!  My fourth new year bird today!  While all of these are common expected species in the county, it was nice after several days of nothing new to see so many new birds for the year.  Northern Mockingbird has all but vanished in the county in just the last year, so I was really glad to see this bird.  Hopefully, they will become more numerous again in the near future.

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