Once you have been birding for a few years, it gets harder and harder to see new species. You have seen all of the common birds and so the only ways to add new ones to your life list are to search for less common species or to travel to new areas. Until yesterday I'd seen only twelve new birds in a year and half of those were spotted on trips outside my local area, to Big Bend and Rockport/Aransas.
So I was excited yesterday afternoon when I saw a Texbirds posting mentioning the presence of Buff-breasted Sandpipers at Paul Rushing Park. I made a quick diversion to the park on my drive home after work and sure enough there were several Buff-breasted Sandpipers mixed in with the American Golden Plovers that have been frequenting the grassy area between the two parking lots.
Unfortunately it was too wet and the birds were too far away to allow good photographs with my little superzoom camera. The best I could get was this blurry shot of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper (right) next to an American Golden Plover.
So I was able to add #425 to my US life list and to do so with the minimum of effort. I expect that seeing #426 will involve much more work!