Pulling Birds Out of a Hat


Keeping fresh fruit and hummingbird feeders out just in case a rare western vagrant wants to stop by the yard.

With just over a month and a half left in my backyard big year, getting new birds is going to be tough.  I’ve only got one Code 2 bird left to find–Great Horned Owl–and that one typically is just a one night wonder that wakes me up in the night when it visits my neighborhood and calls.  Hope I don’t sleep through it!

Otherwise, everything else I could see is either rare or I have no good strategy to be able to find.  Sparrows and waterfowl are still moving through in their fall  migration–but unless a White-crowned, Lincoln’s or Swamp Sparrow makes a stop over in my yard, I’m not sure what else I can do.  At the beginning of the year, I was hoping to find some secret waterfowl or shorebird migratory path or daily movement that I could pick up from my yard–but I’ve only seen glimmers of that.  Unless I get lucky with a direct flyover, or something lands in my neighbor’s small stock pond, I don’t have a good strategy for finding any of these flyovers.

So perhaps more time in the yard will result in a few more flyovers or other surprises.  But it’s going to be tough to pull too many new birds out of the hat.

My best bet for new birds is to start mining the thousands of hours of overnight recordings that I’ve been doing all year.  I’ve only just barely tapped into my OldBird21c mic recordings.  There are sure to be some goodies in there.  But the laptop time and effort to dig them out is daunting.  Mining the recordings fills me with dread.  Its as if I’m finally facing the fact that its time to say goodbye to my daytime birding adventures and enter the Mines of Moria!


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