[Tweeters] November Birds - What a Difference a Year Makes!! Musings on Extraordinary Birds

Blair Bernson blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com
Wed Nov 12 19:26:06 PST 2014


It is obvious to all listers, twitchers and
followers of Ebird and Tweeters that November 2014
(not even half over) is/has been an extraordinary
month for rarities. I just finished a review of
my sightings for this year compared to last year
and the difference between 2014 and 2013 is
astounding.

Last year was a State Big Year for me - lots of
stories and lots of great birds. As obsessed as I
was, however, I still was out of the state the
entire month of November birding in Peru and then
attending to personal business in Florida.
Normally in a Big Year, such time would not be
spent away, and especially since I had also been
out of state for a combined 3 weeks in April and
September, the time away in November could have
been a real problem. But last year, November was
just a normal and indeed pretty ho-hum month with
very little unusual. In fact the only bird I
missed in that month away was a TENNESSEE WARBLER
(still have never seen one in the State). As best
I can tell there were no other First of Year birds
that month at all.

What a difference a year makes. SO FAR in
November propelled by the extraordinary birds of
Neah Bay, we have had the following "rarities":
EURASIAN HOBBY, BRAMBLING, LUCY'S WARBLER, CATTLE
EGRET, SNOWY EGRET, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATHER,
YELLOW-BILLED LOON, ORCHARD ORIOLE, HOODED
ORIOLE, and BLACK HEADED GULL plus a BOREAL OWL
that has been reported this November but not so in
2013. These have been extraordinary birds and
there have been other real goodies around as well
(as there were in November last year).

Why has this been the case? Luck of the draw?
Diligent excellent birding (you know who you
are)? Better communication? An impending brutal
(or extra mild) winter? Lots of theories to keep
us busy when not actually out chasing these great
birds. I am just enjoying the heck out of the
month and look forward to more. Just need to find
some way to pay the gas bills...

--
Blair Bernson
Edmonds




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