Big Year 2016: First Lifer

I did my first chase of the year, going for a MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD that was being seen in Tinicum Township, PA. The bird was a bit of an anathema for me – I’d tried for the bird three times out west but always came away unsuccessful. So it was a little ironic that I’d finally get my lifer in Pennsylvania. It was a bit of a cold, dreary day when I pulled up to the stakeout spot. The person already there waved me over, telling me it was “right there”. Alas, by the time I got out of the car, the bird had already spooked back into the distant trees. I thought I had a glimpse of it way in the back of the fields but it was too far and too quick to be sure.

After a bit of a waiting period, it suddenly flew back into closer view. The light was horrible but I still got great looks at the Mountain Bluebird and its eastern cousins. Sadly, another birder spooked it as he tried to get closer and we had to wait for a while for it to return. In the interim a number of people showed up and we were able to point out the bird to some others for whom it was also a lifer. Upon leaving, I was treated to another year bird as a single COMMON MERGANSER floated down the Delaware River.

Back in the yard

In the week before my trip to Tinicum Township, we had a fun experience in our own back yard. I was walking to work when a large, dark bird walked in front of me – WILD TURKEY! He and I walked along together for a bit before he decided to look at greener pastures in a neighbor’s yard. But later I got a text from my wife:

I just caught a peeping tom looking into the basement window.

Male turkey looking in window

Peeping Tom Turkey.

Nosy bird!


  • Wild Turkey
  • Mountain Bluebird* ABA: 3
2016 YTD Tally
68 Species – Month 68
Lifers 1
NJ Species 65
NJ Lifers 1

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