Well, I’m down to the last two weeks of the year. I’ve been on an incredible run the last couple of weeks adding a handful of new species to my Big Year list but also realizing that I just don’t have enough time to chase everything that I would like to.
The past week or so Florida has been experiencing one of the most incredible birding spectacles EVER. For some reason MANY, and I can’t emphasize many enough, Razorbills, a species that is rarely seen in our waters have been seen in the 1,000’s. We have also had unheard of numbers of Scoter’s heading South.
Razorbill’s breed in Canada, Iceland and other far Northern shores and rarely migrate South of Maryland and Virginia. Multiple hypothesis have been thrown out to as why the birds have left their normal feeding grounds. I’ve heard that possibly Hurricane Sandy disrupted their feeding grounds. I’ve heard that possibly a shift in the magnetic poles has them disoriented. The thing that really worries me is does the Florida coast have sufficient food to feed them this Winter and will they be able to make it back North to breed next year.
The 3 other species I picked up this week were a Swainson’s Hawk, Grasshopper Sparrow and Canvasback. The Hawk and Sparrow were seen on the same morning while riding my bike at Loxahatchee NWR and the Duck was seen while riding at STA 1 East.
The decisions on what to chase have become tough these last couple of weeks. I still need a couple of Duck species. The Pelagic show on the beach is out of this world and Brian Hope called right before work today with a report of 4 Eiders he saw today. I still could get an American Goldfinch or Common Myna and possibly a Sparrow or two. There is just so much I’d like to chase and just not enough time left.
So I guess I’ll leave it up to God and hope that while I’m on the beach looking for Pelagics that a flock of Goldfinches fly by being chased by a Short-tailed Hawk. We’re due for a good cold front next weekend so maybe that will help drive a few more rarities this way. Thank you so much for visiting and being patient with my lack of posts!