A quick outing from a couple weeks ago illustrates this point quite well. I still have a few odds and ends to pick up for my home county (DuPage) for this year - the easiest of which are the local wintering geese species. Fermi Lab and the Pella ponds - only 15 minutes from here - are excellent locations in the county for finding these geese. With this in mind, I made my way that direction with the hopes of adding a county tick or two for the year.
Fermi didn't produce any non-Canada Geese, which was a little disappointing. However, the stop here was still a great success, as this juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk appeared out of nowhere - not just a county year bird (#215), but a county lifer (#223)! I have spent minimal time with Red-shoulders, so I was thrilled to get to study this bird at close range through the scope for a few minutes.
Fermi Lab, DuPage Co, IL
November 21, 2013
Quite content with this unexpected addition, I continued on to Pella as rain began to lazily pelt my windshield. After being a reliable location all Spring, Pella has been a consistent disappointment to me throughout the Fall; but that all changed upon my arrival this day. A large flock of geese foraging in a field drew my attention, and as I got the binocs on them I immediately saw a few white faces sticking out of the standard Canada crowd - a flock of 34 Greater White-fronts! DuPage #216 this year, and my second in a matter of minutes. Such handsome birds they are:
Greater White-fronted Geese,
Pella Ponds, DuPage Co, IL
November 21, 2013
I wasn't gone for more than three hours, yet it was a wonderfully productive birding trip. Consistently birding the same spots over long periods of time truly does pay off in the long run. Get out there and bird those local patches!