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. :)