How Am I Doing?
Pretty good, thanks for asking.
My 2006 birding year totals have already surpassed my 2005 (technically, March 05 to March 06) totals and I've got a lot of birding ahead of me. Let me keep you up to date wth my totals, cool?
Life list: 237. For one and a half years of birding in the East (save for a trip to Tahoe for snowboarding, not birding) I'm happy with this total. I'm hoping to hit at least 250 by the end of the year, a goal that will be helped for sure by a pelagic trip with See Life Paulagics
in the middle of October. I'm pretty siked. Never been out to see looking for birds before, and I'm ready to see some Shearwaters, Storm Petrels and, hell, I'm feeling like there'll be an Albatross sighting. Just a hunch.
Year list: 205. Already 6 ahead of my 2005 year list. This is mostly thanks to the excellent shorebirding opportunities I've been able to get to on DelMarVa. Here are some numbers, and some commentary (these numbers thanks to the EXCELLENT Ebird.com
The 38 birds I've seen this year that I didn't see last year
200 Laughing Gull - seen from Anacostia Park, I was surprised at how big they were.
201 Caspian Tern
202 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - I was the first person to see this bird hiding near the beginning of the boardwalk. When I walk past on my way out there were a bunch of other birders proudly pointing their scopes at it. That, for a birder, is a good feeling.
203 Pectoral Sandpiper
204 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
205 Palm Warbler
206 Northern Parula - A bird I had been seeking for a long time. I'm sure I had heard them before, but I wasn't up on my calls...
207 Eastern Screech-Owl - this is the only 'heard-only' bird on my life list.
208 White-faced Ibis - this guy caused quite a stir in DC. I saw it after waiting a long time in the rain, but I saw it just the same.
210 White-eyed Vireo
211 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
212 Black-billed Cuckoo - this bird and the following Grosbeak were part of an awesome trip to Kenelworth park. I managed to see both these lifers in one frame
213 Blue Grosbeak
214 Acadian Flycatcher
215 Spotted Sandpiper
216 Gray-cheeked Thrush - May at Rock Creek had LOTS of thrushes, this one took a lot of effort.
217 Swainson's Thrush
218 Black-necked Stilt - not as exciting a bird as I had hoped.
220 Marsh Wren - Great call, got one of my favorite photos
221 White-rumped Sandpiper
222 Grasshopper Sparrow
223 Henslow's Sparrow - Very satisfying conclusion of a trip to Frostburg, MD
224 Eastern Meadowlark
225 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck - countable or uncountable? It was certainly less tame than more starlings, rock pigeons or house sparrows I count...
226 Piping Plover - this and the least tern were pleasant surprises on a day of surfing at my favorite beach in Maine
227 Least Tern Scarborough
228 Clay-colored Sparrow - extralimital bird whose call gave me the most confident ID of any
229 Vesper Sparrow
230 Tricolored Heron
231 Royal Tern
232 Sandwich Tern
233 Long-billed Dowitcher
234 Least Sandpiper
235 Little Blue Heron
236 Cattle Egret
237 Black Skimmer
Birds I saw last year but haven't seen yet this year (off the top of my head):
American white pelican
common and Barrow's goldeneye
American golden plover
That's all I've got for now. I think I'll be showing up at Rock Creek Park tomorrow morning where I can hopefully add to these numbers a bit. See you out there.