|Bobolink - Dolichonyx oryzivorus by Dr.J. Webster|
I really love and enjoy the yearly Global Big Day initiative by Cornell, but always bemoaned the fact that it was held at one of the low points of our birding season where a record of 40 species on that day would be considered an accomplishment. Following the end of this year’s Global Big Day in May I learnt of the October Big Day and was eagerly planning to be a part of it. Unfortunately that was not possible, but I was still able to spend a few hours birding in the parish of St. Lucy with my son Jason and Dr. John Webster on that day and saw Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), a year bird for me. As you may know if you follow this blog, in the month of October the local birders normally focus their attention on a path of woodland at the once American Naval Base at Harrisons Point St. Lucy. This patch of woods is an Important Birding Area for birds, mainly for Warblers, during their migration from North to South America but it was not here that I saw the Bobolinks. It was at the private location not too far away, feeding on seeding grass with over 50 Grassland Yellowfinches. This offered the rare privilege to compare these two yellowish seed eaters. It was easy to find the bobolinks among the yellow finches with the Bobolinks being twice the size of the Grasslands.
Bobolinks are 7.25” in length, yellowish in colour when in non-breeding plumage, the way we see them. These birds feed mainly on seeds and migrate from North America to South America.
I really wanted to be a part of October Big Day, but that was not to be, I eagerly await next year.