Saturday, December 1, 2012

November Birding in the Wake of Sandy

November just wasn't a very interesting birding month. So much was and is still closed. So much habitat destroyed. We got out and about, trying new places, or else places we don't go to much, but generally, we found little of interest. Frustrating because there is a finch irruption--both kinds of crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks are being reported all over the state. We didn't run into any of them.

Right after the storm we did see the Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird in Shawn Wainwright's backyard. Consensus is that it was probably a rufous, but without the bird in hand to look at the tail feathers, we'll never know for certain.

Our trip to Cape May produced the White-winged Dove, a real rarity in NJ. We finally found an American Tree Sparrow at Whitesbog (a place I'm coming to appreciate more and more--was there today for the 4th time less than a month). And on Staten Island we were able to see Cave Swallows, which I thought was a life bird for me until I checked and found that I've seen them in Puerto Rico. But the excitement of the seeing the Cave Swallows was dampened by seeing the bluffs of Great Kills Park washed away, meaning the habitat for Bank Swallows next year is gone.

And that was about it for November. Admittedly, as the year goes on, it gets harder and harder to add year birds, but even granting that, I felt like our enthusiasm for birding last month was somehow diminished in the aftermath of the storm.

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