Glossy Ibis, Mississippi Kite, Wilson's Phalarope, Yellow-breasted Chat, Leconte's Sparrow: this list of missed species just keeps on growing!! Perhaps it was the birding gods punishing me for sleeping in this morning. A very kind birder told me that sleeping in is allowed but it did two things to my day. First, eliminated hours of birding from my day where I could have checked off a few easy warbler species. Second, it totally threw off my day when I had to park at White Pine and walk to the Visitor Center from there completely out of the loop on what was being seen throughout the park. It's kind of amazing how quickly the park fills with birders as it is a Monday and the entire Visitors Center parking lot as well as all of West Beach were full. Looks like I'll be waking up even earlier the rest of the week!
Something good came out of the day, though, and that was shadowing a hike led by Marianne in the Woodland Trail. I've agreed to do hikes next year and if all goes well (and I'm able to book of time again!) I'll be a hike-leader for the park (fingers crossed). I was very nervous about it all at first but after I shadow a few more hikes I think I'll be quite confident to do them well. There is a certain joy that comes from showing beginner birders a species that I now take for granted and see them react as if it was the most beautiful bird they've ever seen. Leading hikes is a challenge I look forward to next year.
The two species I added to my list today were Least Sandpiper and Ruddy Turnstone, two of my favourite species of shorebirds that I knew I would see eventually. I have no doubt now that I'll reach 175. If I could get over 180 or even 185 I would be content. Hopefully I'll actually see some of these rarities that are starting to show up.
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Total Species: 91