I have not done much birding over the last two years or so. It was very easy to fill up my time with other things. Little by little, I spent less time roaming around the city and trekking through the woods. Despite that, I have birded a few out-of-the way places with some luck, but I found nothing like the rarities that have shown up here this year.
Many times, I opted not to go see some birds I have never seen before, but there were some I just couldn't ignore.
Among these were six great birds that I have not seen in Newfoundland or never seen at all.
Reaching back in my memory, I think the first of these was a Redwing that showed up in early 2021 in the backyard of a birder. It stayed around for several days so I was able to see and enjoy it leisurely.
Thinking this was my treat for the year, I settled in to making the most of winter by snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Birding was out of my mind. Then....boom! Another great bird arrived.
A Fieldfare appeared in the crown jewel of the city's parks, Bowring Park. I had only heard stories of this species being around. I even made an attempt to see one in Central Newfoundland several years ago, but dipped. That made this a must-see bird. I only stayed long enough for the Fieldfare to put in a brief appearance. This has been the year of record shots, no real photography going on here.
I was really surprised and pleased to see these two great birds. My winter gift!
I believe it was in April that a White-breasted Nuthatch showed up in a yard in Pouch Cove. I couldn't believe it. I made a quick trip (about 20 minutes north) to see this little bird. I didn't stay very long so I was happy to have this record shot of this great little bird, but the best images are in my mind's eye.
Fall migration sent us a Green Heron less than 20 minutes away in another direction. This one was nice to see. Last one I saw was in Arkansas, and I really never imagined I would see another. This one was found in an out-of-the way location, not frequented by many birders.
Then, even closer to home came two extremely rare-for-our-area western species. Close in proximity and in days of arrival were a Long-billed Dowitcher and a Western Tanager.
These rarities are only the ones I have seen. There were other great birds that showed up around the province. What is causing this influx of lost birds? There is no doubt the cycle of weather played a huge hand in bringing them here. Is this a result of climate change? Who knows for sure, but tracking patterns over the years to come will provide enough data to enable more accurate speculation.
Since it has been a long time since my last post, I would like to thank those who have continued to visit this blog and message me. The blog crossed the half a million mark of visitors from around the world. I never imagined that when I started this many years ago.