I keep meaning to do a blog post, truly I do, it's just that I haven't really had much to blog about nature-wise so far this year. To date 2015 has been dominated by work (yes, I do work) and snow, and neither of those things has really been very conducive to looking at nature or nature blogging. Even my travel - Montreal, London, Wales, Washington DC) has not really been very outdoor oriented so far, and I just haven't seen a lot of stuff worth reporting.
This week, it snowed again, but at least there's something about a late March snow storm that makes you feel like the worst may now be over and that Winter might be finally behind us. For whatever reason, I was really feeling the cabin fever today, a sure sign that Spring is coming and that my nature addiction is close to kicking back in again after a dormant Winter. Looking forward to putting Winter away and getting out there once again.
|Thick-billed Murre - lousy shot but it was a state bird!|
As of today, I've seen only 110 species this year in New York State, while the more serious guys are already in the 160s. I've missed way too many Winter birds to be able to catch up - no Snowy Owls, no Glaucous Gulls, no Barrow's Goldeneye, etc. I'll just have to enjoy what I see and not worry about year-lisiting this year.
|Harequin Ducks (above) and Common Redpoll (below) good January birds|
out on the East End this year.
The bird that really killed my year-list this year was actually a gull. A Common Gull no less! Well technically a Mew Gull (although that's currently the same species as Common Gull), and actually not at all common here, thousands of miles away from the Pacific NorthWest where it makes it's home. The bird was found by Shane Blodgett and showed up, as rare gulls are prone to doing, in a shopping mall parking lot in Brooklyn. Many birders got to see it the first week or so it was there (while I wasn't able to travel) and then it fell into an infuriating pattern of vanishing for days or weeks before suddenly and unexpectedly popping up again in the same area. I really wanted to see this bird which would have been a new species for New York State for me, and it also happens to be a species I've tried for and missed previously. So I decided to devote a few hours to a search......
|Herring Gull, MEW GULL, and Ring-billed Gull - photo: Shane Blodgett (used with permission)|
|Iceland Gull - people often reported seeing the Mew Gull with|
this Iceland Gull. It was stubbornly solo while I was there though
Postscript: I finished writing this blog post, went out to brunch with Kelvin and had a mimosa or two(enough to ensure that I could no longer drive for the day). After brunch I checked my emails and, total predictably, Andrew Baksh posted that he and Angus Wilson had been watching the Mew Gull in Brooklyn for the past couple of hours. After a week or so absence, the bird had literally reappeared while I was writing this post. I give up ....