I’m shocked to be penning this submit already, and doubly shocked that I’ve seen six new species for Queens since I guessed what my next five Queens birds would be simply eight months in the past, again in March. It’s been a great 12 months for birding in Queens! Contemplating the ten most up-to-date additions earlier than this March averaged six months aside getting six new species in eight months is mind-blowing.
Means again in March we had been within the midst of a world pandemic and Queens was the epicenter of the epicenter that was New York Metropolis. I didn’t go removed from my home for awhile earlier than I spotted that I might get in my automotive and drive just about wherever in Queens with no site visitors and fowl just about wherever with out seeing anybody. That interval lasted for a little bit over a month earlier than everybody else realized the identical factor and site visitors picked up and the virus subsided to manageable ranges right here. In fact, as I write this, circumstances are growing in New York Metropolis as soon as once more and it’s trying increasingly more like we’re going to have a really troublesome winter to get by. Fortuitously, there are birds to assist. So which of my 5 predictions got here true?
Right here’s what I predicted again in March:
Precise, Actual-Deal, Official Checklist
Alternate, Not-Official, Checklist (That Exists So I Can Second-Guess Myself)
So, I cheated and predicted ten species in a roundabout means. After which I went and noticed six new species so I ought to have managed to foretell at the very least half of them, proper? Let’s see…
The primary new fowl for Queens that I noticed was a Frequent Waxbill clinging to the condo constructing throughout the road from my balcony in April. It was clearly an escape so I don’t rely it, although I did eBird it. It’s the seventh non-countable species I’ve seen in Queens. (If you wish to see the remaining simply click through to my Queens list and scroll down the underside.)
The actual first fowl for Queens for me since March was a one-day-wonder Sedge Wren at Kissena Park in Queens on 11 Might, discovered by the at all times ready Eric Miller. By the point I might get myself there it was afternoon and a thunderstorm was coming in the direction of us quick. A number of birders had been on the lookout for the fowl and had no luck: the fowl hadn’t been seen for at the very least half-an-hour. After about forty-five minutes, with no sightings, the storm getting nearer, and my ten-year-old son bored out of his thoughts I used to be about to surrender. For some purpose I stepped off the trail to attempt to look by a patch of reeds and the fowl flushed from beneath my ft and perched inside grabbing distance for all of about two seconds. It was some of the marvelous and irritating sightings I’ve ever had. The worst half it that it flushed into the reeds and although I managed to trace its actions for a bit the opposite birders who hastened to see the fowl couldn’t get on it. Desi and I hightailed it out of there shortly thereafter, simply forward of the storm, and heard later that a couple of birders acquired the wren after the storm had handed. Extra necessary than this long-winded story is that I predicted Sedge Wren in my second-guess listing! I’m one-for-one!
In July Tropical Storm Fay introduced a number of storm-blown birds to the shores of Queens and a bunch of birders acquired some actually good species together with Brown Booby, Nice Shearwaters, and Parasitic Jaegers, on the night of 10 July. I couldn’t get out to the seaside that day however did get out on 11 July and didn’t see a Nice Shearwater, which was the one of the three that I wanted. (I additionally didn’t see any boobies or jaegers.) I took a big gamble and acquired the household out on a (socially-distanced) whale-watching boat on the 12th and was rewarded, lastly, with my Queens Nice Shearwater! And I predicted this one too! Two-for-two! A veritable Nostradamus I’m!
It’s a foul image however a great fowl! Nice Shearwater!
On four August I used to be out on the coast for the subsequent Tropical Storm to hit New York Metropolis, Tropical Storm Isais, at Jacob Riis Park. My birding buddy Shane Blodgett was on the market as properly, braving the horrible situations. We hadn’t seen any thrilling birds in any respect and the wind and rain was getting worse and worse after which Shane yelled “Take a look at these terns!” and there have been three terns flying instantly at us at very excessive pace and holy moly these are good birds- darkish, white brow – and so they’re gone. We knew they had been Sooty Terns or Bridled Terns however we couldn’t make sure of which. So I added Sooty/Bridled Tern to my listing as a result of both can be new. Sometime I’ll get one or the opposite and so they received’t be a brand new quantity for the listing however they are going to take the place of the “slash fowl.” And, no, I didn’t predict both of these species so my Nostradamus-like tendencies may need been exaggerated as I’m now two-for-three.
A brand new warbler for Queens? Yes, oh yes.
On the finish of summer season we took a household journey to Cape Cod and on the best way residence a Black-throated Grey Warbler was reported at Jamaica Bay on four September. I’ve already told the story so I’ll allow you to click on by when you’re . And, no, I didn’t predict that both. Two-for-four.
Lower than two weeks later a Yellow-headed Blackbird was discovered at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and the primary day’s makes an attempt at refinding it principally failed and I didn’t see it. It was discovered once more the subsequent day and this time I acquired it. I’ve lengthy needed to see a Yellow-headed Blackbird in Queens however this one has some odd points with each its wings and tail and there are questions on its provenance. For the second I’m protecting it on my Queens listing, principally as a result of I can’t imagine somebody would wish to maintain a fowl that makes sounds like this in a cage, but it surely may finally be stricken from the listing. And, no, not predicted: two-for-five.
Yellow-headed Blackbird is a beautiful fowl with a horrible voice.
Lastly, on Halloween this 12 months Michael Gottleib discovered an odd Empidonax flycatcher at Kissena Park. He was undecided of what it was and the next night posted a photograph on the Fb group “What’s This Chicken?” Am I ever glad he did as a result of it was clearly a “Western” Flycatcher, that’s, both a Pacific-slope Flycatcher or a Cordilleran Flycatcher. The subsequent day, two days after his unique sighting, it was refound and I even collected poop so we might hopefully do a DNA evaluation. Poop that’s now pointless as a result of finally Brendan Fogarty managed to get a recording of the fowl making sounds that solely Pacific-slope Flycatchers make. Not surprisingly, I didn’t predict this fowl, so I’m two-for-six on this spherical, one in every of my worst showings but!
After such a poor file of predictions I’m hesitant to attempt once more. Particularly being right down to the ridiculous stage of county-listing, the place any new fowl discovered must be one thing sudden as a result of if it was anticipated I’d have seen it. That stated, there are nonetheless a number of species which can be discovered at the very least each few years in Queens that I ought to have the ability to monitor down. What’s going to they be? (I’ll predict ten however do my subsequent submit after I’ve discovered 5.)
How will I do? Solely time will inform. Let’s hope I’m doing this once more in eight months!