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?


6 Responses to “2008 – Birding Year in Review”

  1. Crafty Green Poet 3 January, 2009 at 2:20 am #

    I had a very good birding year, some stand out sightings include 50 waxwings in a tree locally and a very good view of a kingfisher on the canal. I have kept my records all safe on the UK Birdtrack sight so i actually have a very easy way to review my year, I just haven’t done it yet…..

    Hope you see loads of interestign birds in 2009!

  2. jayne 3 January, 2009 at 5:48 am #

    An impressive list Liza! I will be venturing out of my backyard to attend my very first bird and nature festival with other Bloggers I’ve met, and can’t wait. Happy New Year!

  3. Mary Carlson 3 January, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    Great list, Liza. I clicked on all of your links to see where you want to attend for birding festivals in 2009. And I’m glad you have the Monterey Bay Birding Festival listed. You will definitely see many birds. And who knows, it’s possible we may meet there. I’m also planning to attend. I recently heard about the Morro Bay Festival, and didn’t realize it happens in January. So, like you, I may have to consider it for 2010. As for the one held in Lee Vining, I’ve never heard of it. If you should hear more about it, could you possibly post something about it? or maybe even email me? One thing for sure, we don’t have to go very far for these upcoming birding fests. Thanks for sharing your lists. Now all I have to do is get my scattered lists organized. ;o)

  4. Liza Lee Miller 3 January, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    Thanks CGP, I track my stuff on eBird and like that solution. It’s just that I don’t always remember to track what I’ve seen when I’m out and about.

    Jayne, I’ve read too many reports of birding festivals to doubt that you’ll have a great time at yours. I suspect I will, too. I have been to very few birding events and need to branch out beyond the Internet more.

    Mary, I’m trying to talk my husband into going to Morro Bay . . . I could get it and get camping reservations but it does seem sudden. I think I’ll wait until September for Monterey Bay. Looking forward to seeing you there. I’ll definitely let you know about the Mono Basin one. That’s my other stomping grounds. My folks live up there and I was married on the shores of Mono Lake. Bird heaven!

  5. wren 4 January, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    If that was a slow year, I can hardly wait to see what you do in 2009! I’m thinking of attending my first birding festival too.

  6. bookbabie 9 January, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    Oh, that is so sweet:)

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