Bird RDA. At 6pm I started the long drive home in the gathering twilight. Bad traffic had me birding with the windows down as I crept along I-295. A pair of ducks flying over quickly got me Mallard (17). No sign of House Sparrows on any of the gas stations I passed. Getting late to try for Red-tailed Hawks on power poles. Finally a small flock of Common Grackles flew over the highway (18). Two more to go. As I approached the Delaware River it was almost dark. Fortunately a pair of Canada Goose (19) flew over.
And that was it. A group of ducks flying over after sunset looked small and might have been Wood Ducks, but hard to tell in the near dark at 65 mph. I didn't hear any nocturnal migrants last night. I missed getting my RDA by 1 species!
But I came up with a new plan.
I decided that if I missed my Bird RDA on any given day, I could make it up the next day. Only it would have to be a two-for-one deal. I would have to find 2 additional species to make up for each species missed the day before. And make up birding has to take place the very next day. No rollover birds or escrow accounts. No extensions.
So this morning I did a little better at the bus stop and had 11 species by the time the kids got on the bus--including another Palm Warbler and a pair of Red-eyed Vireos. A quick drive around Spruce Run Reservoir netted me an Osprey and several other species including a couple distant Sterna terns, taking me up to 24 species before I had to head in to work.
So I got my Bird RDA and was able to make up my count from yesterday. I'm feeling healthier already!