Date: 5/1/17 12:56 pm
From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...>
Subject: migration weary...
Hmm, I could go in more than one direction here... after all, with all
these constant reports and searching, migration does wear on me just a
bit. I can get excited and even stressed at times looking for
interesting birds that pass through SO briefly. Someone saw _____ over
here... gone the next day... or, do I even chase? Yeah, exciting and
tiring at the same time sometimes... but more exciting than tiring. :)

However, this is about the birds not myself. All those storms that came
through... I'm ALWAYS wishing I could teleport from spot to spot and
check out all my favorite spots(and random places nobody typically
accesses) every single day. What am I missing here and there? Anyway,
lots of good things have been coming through with all this rain and it
has been exciting.
Two days ago while the flooding was still happening, I got out and
explored the areas near Chesney just a bit. Found a vacant gravel lot
that was flooded and found a LOT of American golden plovers. My daughter
says she saw about 50, at least. She had a different view from her side
of the vehicle. Lots of good birds in there though. Yellowlegs(both),
semipalmated plovers, peeps I'm still not sure about, etc. A wave of
50+ swallows came through... Found 3 uplands and an avocet in the field
at the corner by chesney. Good stuff everywhere.
Yesterday we went out to Centerton and on the way back, went back to
that vacant lot. The water was almost gone but there were still some
peeps and semipalmated plovers in there. Then there was this blob...
the object looked interesting enough in the gravel to cause me to
look... Through the binoculars I was then certain it was a bird... saw
some feathers move in the wind. Still a little ways away, approaching
from behind it... just a blob all hunkered down. I joked "maybe it's a
nighjar." You have no idea how often I "joke" about a bird or other
things and happen to be right. Oddly, we pulled up alongside a
nighthawk just sitting there. We were able to get within 10 feet(I
think) but we stayed in the van and left it alone. It was resting.
Can't say if it was injured or not. I was VERY tempted to go pick it up
and find out but I didn't want to stress the bird as I assumed it was
recovering from the weather that brought it in... and, if I did find
something wrong with it, I wasn't in any position to find help for it.
So, we let it rest... but not before getting a few photos of it.
I've only ever seen these birds flying so, though there are other
nightjars I need to find some day, this was still a fascinating sight
for me.

Lots more things I could report on... black-bellied plover at the
hatchery yesterday as well as a forster's and caspian tern. A single
dowitcher we found, still analyzing but based on patterns and even the
call we heard we're leaning towards short-billed. Some long-billed over
on anglin road. I don't know how long they stick around but anyone
interested in bobolinks and can get to Centerton, you need to explore
anglin road as well as Barron(I think, maybe) as they were EVERYWHERE.
We estimated 100 bobolinks easily... and that many or twice or more
dickcissels. they were flying, together at times, in a way that would
have you think you were looking at starlings or blackbirds(with good
reason I guess.) just lots of them. Seems people were excited two
years ago when there were a few handfuls of them on Holloway rd(and at
the back fence of the upper ponds at the hatchery if you looked) and
then last year, I don't know that I saw a single report. So these
numbers are amazing to me.

Lots of good stuff out there. I still get a bit jealous when I read
some of the FOS reports people have... blue and golden-winged warblers
for instance... I think "first of season?", when do I get my first of
life? ha. But, it's been a very good year so far. Wish I could get
out more than I can but even a bad day birding is still a good day and
I'll take what I can get. :)

Daniel Mason

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