As 2020 mercifully comes to an end, it’s really difficult to add a new bird to one’s checklist. Migration is long over and while there are one or two rarities still kicking around (i.e. the Rock Wren in Maine) they have already been recorded weeks ago.
Suddenly late yesterday evening a Dickcissel was reported at a Yellow-breasted Chat stakeout in Thomaston, Maine (think Shawshank Redemption). I was fortunate enough to get a Chat back in May, but the Dickcissel has been a nemesis bird all year . . . as I’ve been out a number of times trying to find one . . . with no luck.
I arrived in Thomaston just after dawn and was surprised to see a half dozen birders staking out the Yellow-breasted Chat (surprising cause it was cold and its almost Christmas).
It took about 90 minutes for both birds to arrive . . . the Chat for a brief visit and the Dickcissel for 10 minute of posing for the paparazzi.
Also saw a couple other rarities for Maine in December, a Northern Mockingbird and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
The Dickcissel is my 295th Maine species in 2020 . . . a figure only 5 birders have ever reached prior to 2020. Unfortunately for me, this year has been a good one for birds and there are two birders ahead of me for: Mariam Zimmerman (297) and Matthew Gilbert (296). Sadly I don’t think there are another two birds out there that I can find before the calendar flips to 2021.