Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hatin' Time

The post-Birdathon wrap-up is always entertaining.  Some years the theme is Scarlet Tanagers.  This year a lot of the focus was on the camaraderie of birding.  Birding with others is certainly more fun than birding alone.  That being said, sometimes 15 hours into a Big Day, nerves are a little frayed, caffeine crashes occur, the afternoon lull sets in, someone stuffs wrappers and chewed gum in someone else's (still half-full) pizza box which is then emptied onto another party's hat and a good old-fashioned Hatin' Time ensues.  There are two ways that Hatin' Time can be defeated, one is a good bird.

Our best bird of the day came early in the morning, a Yellow-headed Blackbird that jumped out to Tim's eyes at Three Oaks, only the 2nd I've ever seen in the county.  Check out the length of the hindclaws.

Of course it came during the adrenaline rush of the dawn (and the first dawn in a few years that lacked rain), so it didn't really affect the Hatin' Time.

Summer Tanager would have been a perfect bird for the afternoon lull; we didn't get one on Birdathon though.
The other cure, aside from some good birds, is for Hatin' Time to morph into Killin' Time.  That one's self explanatory.

Joking aside, we had a fun time.  Most of the birds were pretty common, and we were actually fairly even with our record pace until we got to Floral.  There was a really nice hawk movement, but the passerines just didn't happen there; most of ours came elsewhere.

Hooded Warblers were hard to miss though.

 We managed to filter out all of the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at our first several passerine spots, it was actually new at Floral.

I missed the first Magnolia of the day (maybe the first two), so one in a little bush was also new for me.

Finally a Chestnut-sided that was near the grosbeak while scouting (unsuccessfully) for Worm-eating Warbler.


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