Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 is drawing to a close. The end of the year is the traditional time for doing a summary, and some reflection.

The opportunity to travel during the year opened up a new avenue for creativity and led me increasingly to expand of my birding hobby with photography. Photography is slowing down my birdwatching, making me more patient, more observant, and more appreciative of the birds.

Birding has been a component of travel, but not the sole component - history, culture, flora and fauna, are all important ingredients and I hope will remain so.

That being said, this is a blog mostly about birds, and a summary of my birding year is in order.

In 2009 in North America I logged 365 species and expanded my North American life list to 565, adding 18 new species. A surprise in those 18 new species is that 4 were in New England, my home base. I keep thinking that the odds are getting longer and longer for new species in the region where I do most of my birding. But each year something new turns up.

So for my year end summary, here is the list of new species, with photographs of the one that stood still long enough for me to document the sighting.

Dusky Flycatcher
01/11 - Patagonia Nature Conservancy, AZ

Rufous-crowned Sparrow
01/11 - Patagonia Rest Stop, AZ

Gray Flycatcher
01/11 - Patagonia Lake State Park, AZ

Rufous-winged Sparrow
01/11 - Patagonia Lake State Park, AZ

Rufous-capped Warbler
01/12 - Florida Canyon, nr. Madera Canyon, AZ

Painted Redstart
01/13 - Madera Canyon, AZ

Montezuma Quail
01/24 - Cave Creek Canyon - 2 clear observations of covey of about 12 on 2 different days

Elegant Trogon
01/26 - Cave Creek Canyon

Bar-headed Goose
04/18 - Brattleboro Retreat - probably an escapee - so not officially a countable but species, but what the heck ...

Henslow’s Sparrow
07/01 - Montague, MA

Manx Shearwater
8/10 - Pelagic trip out of Newburyport, MA

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
10/22 - Orange, MA

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
11/12 - King Ranch, TX

Sprague’s Pipit
11/12 - King Ranch, TX

Hooded Oriole
11/13 - nr Falcon Dam, TX

White-collared Seedeater
11/13 - Salenos, TX

Bronzed Cowbird
11/14 - Harlingen, TX

Rose-throated Becard
11/16 - Estero Llano Grande WBC, TX

As a summary, a year in which there were many good things, not least of which was plenty of Good Birding!


Kim said...

Wow Chris, you got some fantastic birds this year!! Heres hoping for a another successful 2010!

Erica Houskeeper said...

Hi Chris,

Looks like you've had a great year. Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2010!

Kelly said...

Wow!! What a year you've had with 365 species! And that's a mighty impressive life list too... Your photo of the Painted Redstart really caught my eye. What a stunning bird (the Montezuma Quail is no slacker either!). Congrats and best wishes for a great 2010.

eileeninmd said...

Chris, you had a great year of birding. Great photos too. I wish you all the best in 2010 with more great birding.

elvira pajarola said...

The Henslows Sparrow.....This is my is MAGNIFICIENT!!!
have a great day!
ciao elvira

FAB said...

Chris. I'm not sure how those no's compare with previous years but it looks pretty impressive. Interesting to hear that photography has put you into a slower gear....I've found that to be the case as well.
Wishing you exceptional wildlife watching for 2010. FAB.

Carlib said...

It's a pity... not all of your photographs are showing!
I am impressed with the variety you have around you!
I hope 2010 will bring you as many surprises!
Happy new year, Chris!

Tina said...

Those are some impressive numbers..365 wow!! I should live long enough to reach that number..I guess I better start keeping track of what I am seeing..
Love that painted red-start but the little scissor tailed flycatcher really caught my well as the bar-head goose..nice catches..all of them! Good luck in 2010..can't wait to see what flies your way in this next year!!

Bob Kaufman said...

What a great birding year, Chris! May 2010 be even better for you.

Deejbrown said...

Congratulations on your list! Even more, congratulations on your compassion and educative posts throughout the year.
(Thank you for your comment on my Driving in VT post. I will attempt to return home to NJ tomorrow!)

Laura said...

Wonderful photographs and summary Chris! I have my year list here and am going to be tallying my 2009 sightings over the next day or two. The year is not over yet so there is a wee chance to add a new bird or two …

Larry said...

It looks as though you've had an enjoyable year of birding.I haven't done any birding outside of New England. Looking at some of your wonderful photos reminds me of what I'm missing.That is something I can look forward to in the future.I wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2010.


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