Just a quick update because things have been quiet on the Junior Big Year front lately..
This morning I drove over an hour to an area that is known to be good for Yellow-breasted Chats but after lengthy searching I got skunked. Beautiful Indigo Buntings there though but not a year bird, very special none the less. I'll get chat another day.
I've been feeling a little bit sick the last couple of days but within the last 5 hours I've been feeling much better (!!), so I thought about something to do. "gulls" came into my mind. I had no clue what gulls I still needed for my year and where I'd get them. So I pulled out my bird books and looked up the gulls and went through them one by one. "Great Black-backed - check" "Lesser Black-backed - check" "Herring - check" "Ring-billed - check" "California - check" "Western - check" "Mew - check" "Glaucous-winged - check" "Thayer's - check" among others. So then I went into "in the areas I'm still going to be, what do I need?" "Glaucous - yes, need it" "Black-legged Kittiwake - yes, need it" "Iceland - yes, need it". It turns out that I'd really need luck to pull an Iceland or Glaucous but BL Kittiwake is likely in Alaska. That settles that. Unless a rare Iceland or Glaucous shows up in Virginia which I'd learn of via the Va-Bird listserv, the only gull I'll still get is Black-legged Kittiwake. Not great for the number of gulls but it's easy to keep track of!
While I was writing this I heard my papa yell "nighthawks..nighthawks!!" and they're very special so I was all excited and ran outside, there they were, flying fast!! Second time of the year for Common Nighthawks!
My next 'expected' year bird Chuck Will's Widow on this coming Tuesday.