Wednesday, November 6, 2019

What Are You Doing Here?

[Yellow-rumped Warbler at my water drip (perhaps the greatest addition to a yard's bird attractiveness), October 19, 2019. Click to enlarge photos.]

Hello, yeah, it's been a while. . .

So on the morning of October 19, 2019 I was out listening for NFC's - that's shorthand for Nocturnal Flight Calls - and a nice thrush flight was underway. On my eBird list I placed a single unidentified thrush, although I knew exactly what it was.

I knew what it was, but the date made it unlikely.  Here is an important law of birding, if there is such a thing: A BIRD OUT OF ITS NORMAL DATE RANGE IS AS RARE AS A BIRD OUT OF ITS GEOGRAPHIC RANGE. It's something I've known for years and years, but I first heard it said by Paul Lehman, who said it so emphatically it deserves capital letters.

But later in the day I heard this "pep-pep-pep-pep" out the window and I said to myself, I KNOW what that is. It was this:

[Wood Thrush, Del Haven NJ October 19, 2019. Not the latest Cape May county record, but late enough to use caution. It's a hatch-year, aged by the molt limit in the wing coverts, meaning it started from its egg last summer.]

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