Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch on September 26, 2020. A very exciting find this morning, especially since this was my first time seeing one of these birds! Several weeks ago, a fellow bird club member sent an email about an irruption year on these specific nuthatches. This means that a species that usually migrates short distances at the most, but occasionally moves far south in very large numbers. This happens every so many years with a variety of bird species, the most well known to me being Snowy Owls.

Since I'd never seen one, I wrote off not expecting to see one again this year. There were several varieties of warblers passing through the neighborhood today so my morning was spent on the balcony. The titmice and nuthatches (of our regular White-breasted kind) were active. Ignoring them in favor of the warblers, something made me pause and re-check the nuthatch climbing up the tree. As soon as my camera was pulled up, I knew this was no normal nuthatch! Being that it was about 100 feet away, this was the best shot I managed. It didn't return the rest of my time outside.

While this is not a fantastic shot, I'm impressed with how well it came out. This was my 54th bird on my pandemic backyard birding list and my 200th life bird. A Blackburnian Warbler was also of note today, coming in at 199th.

Lens - Tamron 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 @ 600mm on Nikon D500