Not So Big Big Day

For the last couple years on my Birthday I have done a local Big Day in the County.  Big Days depend on lots of things, some you can control and others are up to Mother Nature.  I managed a respectable number of Species seen … 89 … but I ran out of energy towards the middle of the afternoon and put a cap on the day about 4pm.  I saw most of the expected species but also know of a dozen or so I could/should have had and like all big days you can only dream of what could have been and try to make plans for the next one to be better!

Northern Parula ... He was as interested in me as I was in him!

Northern Parula … He was as interested in me as I was in him!

Palm Beach County is a huge area and logistics play a big part on being successful.  You don’t want to spend too much time in any one given area but you also hate leaving when there are still available birds … if you only look a little longer…

Yellow-breasted Chat ... I saw this guy the afternoon before and agin this morning ... where was he when I needed him !!!

Yellow-breasted Chat … I saw this guy the afternoon before and agin this morning … where was he when I needed him !!!

I covered 5 different places yesterday.  Loxahatchee NWR, Daggerwing Nature Center, Green Cay Wetlands the Boynton Beach Inlet and Wellington Wetlands.  Daggerwing would not have been on my normal loop but there was a report of a Scissortail Flycatcher and Western Kingbirds there the afternoon before and those two species alone would make the trip worthwhile. Unfortunately neither one showed but I did pick up a couple of species I didn’t have anywhere else during the day.

Red-shouldered Hawk ... Raptors were pretty thin on my list yesterday with no Coopers, Red-tails or Kites on my list (:

Red-shouldered Hawk … Raptors were pretty thin on my list yesterday with no Coopers, Red-tails or Kites on my list (:

I did well on Terns yesterday seeing 4 of the 5 possible but not so hot on migrants.  This time of year it’s possible to see 10-15 species of Warblers and Orioles and Tanagers but for the last week or so the winds have been pretty much from the South/Southeast and all the migrants seem to be flying right over us and up the West Coast.  I did get the expected shorebirds both at GC and the beach.

Lesser Yellowlegs ... The shorebirds at GC have been very cooperative this year.

Lesser Yellowlegs … The shorebirds at GC have been very cooperative this year.

Least Sandpiper

Last year I think Cheryl and I saw 93 species on my B-day and then in the Fall I had a day where I saw 96 species.  I know with a good front setting down Warblers and other migrants that I can top the Century mark and may try again this Spring depending on the weather fronts.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

There are lots of bumper stickers out there with variations of “A good day ___ ing is better than …” and you can fill in the blank with fishing, boating or whatever and birding can certainly claim this and so much more.  I really, really did enjoy my day and I am blessed to have both the time and health to do big days like today.

Many birders enjoy birding without documenting what they see and while that may be great for them, I LOVE taking pictures and being able to relive my adventures a year or even ten years from now and I also love being able to share my adventures with all of you.

Once again thank you for sharing my blog and adventures and God Bless!!

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About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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