When the usual birding "hotspots" become overcrowded like a Costco parking lot, I have a tendency to go check out less travelled areas. For me, birding is not so much about seeing birds others have been lucky enough to find, but rather "the hunt."
The time in the woods, the quiet and fresh air are often enough to satisfy me. Yet, I have to say, I really do enjoy finding unexpected birds. After 11,000 steps yesterday and checking many out-of-the-way locations, I heard a lone bird calling. Thought it might be a flycatcher, but not a Yellow-bellied or Alder. Their calls are familiar.
I flipped through my birding program on my phone and listened to the call of a Least Flycatcher. That was it. As I played the call, out popped this guy! It was a Least Flycatcher.
Having never seen nor heard one before, I checked the ID before posting. I would have been really disappointed if it turned out to be an Alder. You see, by the time I heard back, I had already finished my celebratory beer:)
Checking the records on eBird, a Least Flycatcher has not been reported in the area of St. John's since 1996.
It is this kind of intermittent reinforcement, that keeps me ever vigilant and hopeful as I roam the woods.
Note: During my many trail walks over the last couple of weeks, I have seen many signs of foxes in the areas. I have also seen two crossing Cape Spear Road. Good to be aware.