When I am not in my backyard, I have to make a choice about where to go to bird. I don't have all of the time in the world and it helps to get a head start. Also when I see a new bird, I sometimes wonder what it is. Having a small inkling in advance also helps with this. I found a link to help me with both of those in Northern VA.
When I was out surfing the internet one day I came across a link for a rare bird list. When I started to dig into it, I realized that it is put out every Tuesday and is a list of where all of the rare bird sightings are in my area. When I take a Thursday or Friday off to bird, I look over the list beforehand to see if there are any rare birds around or how the birds are trending. When I read that there are large flocks of hawks around (for example), I might look extra hard for that species.
Here is the link that I found. Click on North America to bring up a list of all of the states.
Saturday's Critters #171
20 hours ago