15 Nov 2015 – November Duval County Twelve Day Big Year (12DBY):

Final November 12DBY results: 6 eBird checklists, 4 new 12DBY species
Best targets achieved: Piping Plover, Red-headed Woodpecker
Most unexpected species: Lark Sparrow at Eastport
New 12DBY species: Piping Plover, Red-headed Woodpecker, Orange-crowned Warbler, Lark Sparrow


The year is winding down, and while I have a list of potential target birds left there are no guarantees for adding new species. Unfortunately, I missed loads of migrant warblers and thrushes for the 12DBY and am now forced to target other obvious gaps in the list.

With that in mind, we started the morning at Little Talbot Island SP, where I quickly added Orange-crowned Warbler. A stop at Huguenot was productive overall, and yielded seven Piping Plovers, which was another 12DBY target.

Our next stop was Eastport Wastelands, where we’d seen the first patch record of Red-headed Woodpecker there the previous weekend. After finding both an adult and juvenile, we headed to the sparrow spot when to our amazement, the 11th known county record of Lark Sparrow popped up and allowed for world class scope views for over an hour. In fact, we had to just walk away from the bird like it was nothing special! That’s the second Lark Sparrow in that hotspot just this year; there’s no telling what has been inhabiting that acreage over the years!

After eleven days of the challenge I’m now at 215 species for Duval County, which is a county 12DBY mark that I’m confident will never be broken and I intend to add a little more to it next month. Reasonable birds I can still target include Canvasback, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Northern Bobwhite, American Avocet, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Field Sparrow, and Rusty Blackbird. If I choose to do my 12DBY on the CBC I’ll miss the duck opportunity simply based on my territory, but may rack up some rarities.

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