Well, it seems that the powers that be in South Texas have decided that my Song Sparrow was really a Lincoln's. I guess I see their point; with all that gray on his sides, he makes an odd Song Sparrow.
I feel a little strange about calling the Lincoln's a lifer, kinda like I was hesitant to call the American Pipit I photographed but couldn't necessarily ID a lifer. But I've changed my mind, thanks in part to Beth in NYC's comment that just because I couldn't ID a bird right off doesn't change the fact that I saw it. God knows my ID skills are those of a relative beginner when compared with guys like John at A DC Birding Blog or my major birdy hero Julie Zickefoose.
So I'm going to count these birds, the Lincoln's Sparrow and the American Pipit, and I'm going to hope that I recognize them right off the next time I see them. That brings my ABA lifelist number to a whopping 269, which really pleases me.
But you know what?
I'd love to have to see a lot of those 269 birds over again--especially the ones I don't see every day. I'm gonna try to get in some early morning birding this week or weekend because I'd really like to see some warblers. I've been focused a lot on wetland/shorebirds, and my warbler skills have suffered.