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2008 – Birding Year in Review

3 Jan

In all honesty, I was not much of a birder in 2008.  Most of my birds were happenstance, literally falling into my lap.  I didn’t specifically go bird watching unless I was already on a trip for some other reason.  I often forgot to record the birds that I saw — unless I actually took pictures of them.  Birding just wasn’t my biggest priority this year but that said, when I look back at it, I did okay.

Best Bird of 2008: Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), 25 Mar 2008, San Diego, CA (Life)
I love egrets and herons.  Stumbling upon this beauty at our campground in San Diego was a real thrill.  Getting good shots of it made the joy all the richer!

Little Blue Heron

Total Birds of 2008: 86 birds (listed below, except 2008 Lifers which are further below!)
Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pygmy Nuthatch, Common Raven, Anna’s Hummingbird,  Townsend’s Warbler, Brewer’s Blackbird, Dark-eyed Junco, Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant, California Quail, California Towhee, Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow, Black Phoebe, Common Merganser, Steller’s Jay, Great Egret, Bufflehead, American Robin, Western Scrub Jay, Varied Thrush, Allen’s Hummingbird, Northern Mockingbird, Red-shouldered Hawk, House Sparrow, House Finch, European Starling, Snowy Egret, Mourning Dove, Marbled Godwit, Double-crested Cormorant, Turkey Vulture, Band-tailed Pigeon (Columba fasciata), Ring-necked Duck, Wild Turkey, Western Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Bewick’s Wren, Canada Goose, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Black-headed Grosbeak, Purple Finch, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Spotted Towhee, Oak Titmouse, Lesser Goldfinch, Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Harrier, American White Pelican, Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota, Red-winged Blackbird, Mountain Chickadee, Cassin’s Finch, American Kestrel, Killdeer, Song Sparrow,  Golden Eagle

Life Birds of 2008: 25 birds
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis); Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum); Brant (Branta bernicla); Black-throated Gray Warbler (Dendroica nigrescens); Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata); Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea); Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger); Rock Pigeon (Columba livia); American Wigeon (Anas americana); Yellow-billed Magpie; Costa’s Hummingbird (Calypte costae); Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani); Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus); Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina); Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata); Least Tern (Sternula antillarum); Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri); House Wren (Troglodytes aedon); Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus); Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus), Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella breweri); California Gull (Larus californicus); Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber); Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana); Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)

Total Birds on Life List: 125 birds (see tab at top of page

Best Birding Moment of 2008:

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

Rescuing this Bewick’s Wren who hit a window at my mother-in-law’s house. Read the rest of the story [click].

Plans for 2009:

  • Do a better job of recording birds I see
  • Attend a birding conference — this one for sure [click] and I’d love to do this one [click] but I think it’s too soon — maybe 2010.  I’d also love to go to this one if they do it again in 2009 [click].

What about you?  How did your year turn out?  What do you envision for 2009?