I took part in the island audubon christmas bird count this year and was glad I did. I think sometimes you kind of need "an excuse" to really get stuck into your wildlife watching and get out of ruts or habits and try something new. In that spirit I was scanning wader flocks at 6:30am deternined to get a good count of the yellowlegs and blackbellied plovers we usually see at our spot. Then I saw these:
I'm still learning north american waders and as regular readers may recall I have never seen a dowitcher before but as soon as they raised their heads and I saw these long bills I had a fairly good idea thats what they were.
With the dowitchers counted the day continued and after an exhaustingly full day I could say I'd seen 34 different species a pretty good effort on island. Highlights included 4 of our 5 raptors and 3 island ticks. Lowlights were being unable to relocate my regularly spotted sora on the big day. Oh well thems the breaks and it was a fun day and a great excuse to get out of bed early.