I took the new scope over to the Richardson Bay Audubon Sanctuary today at low tide, planning to plant the scope in a single spot on the beach and see how many species I could ID in one hour. I was distracted hugely, however, by Western Grebes performing their mating dance about 250 meters away, and spent the greater part of the hour focused on the two grebes. When I wasn't spellbound on them, I managed to ID a few others. Here's the list:
Red Phalarope (!)
Only 27 species. I should have been able to top 30 without breaking a sweat, had it not been for the grebe distraction. They really were spectacular, especially when the launched out of the water simultaneously and ran shoulder to shoulder atop the water for about 30 meters without using their wings. It's hard not to scream when you see that for the first time through a new scope.