To be honest, I don't mind that; I hope this dearth of coverage makes my menial checklists more valuable in filling some data gaps. And as anyone who knows me knows, I find it pretty rewarding to have visualization of birding effort. So yeah, I've been all about birding Allegany County for the last 1-2 weeks to see where it would take me.
Because I don't know this county like I should (considering I was born here), I've only been slowly feeling my way around, exploring roads here and there and repeatedly hitting some spots that seem productive. But sometimes birds find you.
I was chugging down Highway 417 to the east of town when I passed an owl-shaped bump on a sign. My first gut reaction was "Ok, who put a plastic owl decoy on a sign all the way out here?" but a split second later I realized it was a REAL owl, a BARRED OWL:
Another spot I've checked several times is the Genesee River right in the middle of town (in the parking lot of a Tops grocery store, in fact). One recent visit yielded 2 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS which was flagged in eBird as rare. Because of that fact, I snapped a picture so that whoever the eBird reviewer is would have some proof:
In any case, I ended visiting a hotspot or two yesterday in places I've hardly ever cared to look at birds. One such public park in Chemung County had an area where families sponsored trees, benches, etc. I was completely down with these folks sponsoring a bird-feeding station. Even better, there was a little sign that said "Please fill the feeders". Seeing that they were indeed empty and that the containers for seed below them were fully stocked, I was all about filling these bad boys. I did just that and took a picture of of handy work:
Another hotspot I ventured to was calm, rather scenic, but completely lacking in terms of birds. I'm sure this state forest will liven up when the breeding warbs return in a month or two: