Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 23 - early Christmas presents

Just over three weeks ago, on November 30, I picked up three year birds to get to 301 for the year in New York State. Though I have down some birding since then, I hadn't picked up any more year birds until Tuesday, December 23. My friend Sean had to do an errand on eastern Long Island that wasn't far from St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale. Barnacle and Greater White-fronted geese have both been seen there recently and Sean and I both needed these species for the year. It seemed a good way to perhaps pick up a coupe of more year birds, so I went along. The trip was a success and we were lucky enough to get both geese fairly quickly at the cemetery with a large flock of Canada Geese. We were pleasantly surprised to find four Greater White-fronted Geese before they flew off.

Barnacle Goose (2nd from left), St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale                                                                    © Sean Sime
Greater White-fronted Geese, St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale                                                      © Sean Sime
One additional bonus for the day was a Northern Saw-whet Owl that Sean knew about at an undisclosed location. He had previously seen the owl, but it was new for my year list, so with the geese I picked up three year birds for the day and raised my total to 304 for the year in New York.

A final birding present for the day was adding a bird to my life list. It was what I call a "bureaucratic life bird". I received an email from an eBirds moderator telling me I needed to update one of my old bird lists. It seems that the "Blue-crowned Motmot" I saw in Trinidad over thirty years ago has been reclassified as an endemic species - the Trinidad Motmot - different from the motmot on mainland South America. Since I had also seen the bird in Brazil, this netted me an additional species on my world lifelist.

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