Monday, October 2, 2017

Updates From A Yardbirding Empire

Earlier in the summer Band-tailed Pigeons would come feed in the yard on the reg, but for the past couple of months they have been usually observed as flyovers. This crisp, freshly-baked juvenile was an exception, making itself at home for a few hours one evening. This is a plumage I've hardly seen before and was chuffed to get to crush.

Well, well, well...another month has come and gone. What was different about this recently deceased month was that it just so happened to be the best month of the year for birding in California. What was not different was that the Rancho you love to hate has again taken top honors for birdiest yard of the month in California* with 71 species. I could tell a lot of birders tried very hard to dethrone me in September, but the yardbirding empire we have built here in San Jose is quite safe from your pitiful little band. And not only did we dominate the monthly standings, we added a sickening number of new yard birds:

88. Lazuli Bunting (hoped for but not expected)
89. Western Gull (inevitable)
90. Say's Phoebe (not rare in the area, but not expected at all - poor habitat here)
91. White-crowned Sparrow (inevitable but most welcome)
92. Lincoln's Sparrow (a single bird visits the feeders daily)
93. American Wigeon (one day wonder)
94. Ring-necked Duck (small flock has taken up residence)
95. Herring Gull (flyover)
96. Marsh Wren (one calling from mulefat/cattails at the end of the month)

For comparison, I got only four new birds in August (three on the eclipse day!) and a paltry one in July. September was very rewarding, with other highlights being Yellow Warblers in the yard every day of the month and another Golden Eagle.

Though I am hoping to break the yardbirding milestone of 100 species in October, I am merciful, a just yardbirding emperor. That's right, I will not be attempting to win Yardbirder of the Month in California, it will be up for grabs. A bone is being thrown. I'm going to Massachusetts this week to see family, attempt to relax, and see some eastern birds that I haven't checked on in a while.

So good luck California yardbirders! But don't get cocky...when dawn arrives on November 1, the empire will strike back.

* = in eBird. Obvi.


  1. Have you ever considered trying to insert Star War quotes into your blog posts?

    1. What is this "Star Wars" you speak of? Familiar I am not.

  2. Sounds like a lovely yard... I've got a pretty decent yard list (126) for completely lacking water. I make up for it by getting random flyovers and weird birds. Just had a Snow Goose fly-over a few days ago. Rare enough bird in San Diego to trip the filter anywhere, let alone this early. One of my countless weird yard birds. Sounds like your's has a lot of potential!

  3. Please keep posting your monthly totals anytime you're at the top of the California heap. I'll never grow tired of getting more yard birds than anyone in California every month.