In my not-so-big-state-year, where I’m actually keeping track of how many species I see in South Dakota, I had been stuck at 196 for a few weeks. Vacation, and no time to bird, will do that! Also the migrants are all through, and we’re left with the “normal” summer birds, most of which I’d seen in my part of the state.
The answer to get the ball rolling again? Go to a different part of the state. I did a day trip to the central part of the state this weekend, and was able to find several species you’re just not likely to find around Sioux Falls. The total is now up to 202! The Bell’s Vireo photo at the top is what put me to 200. Other “new” ones for the year were Lark Bunting, Burrowing Owl, Caspian Tern, and, surprisingly, Swainson’s Hawk. Surprising, because I was sure I’d seen at least one this year, but found I hadn’t when I recorded one in eBird.
Sometime this summer I’ll have to plan on a trip to the Black Hills and/or far northwestern part of the state, to add species you’re not likely to find elsewhere in the state.