The Year 2011 In Review

It’s time again to look back at the year 2011 and all the great adventures in birding we experienced here at A Birder’s Notebook.

Let’s start by getting the boring stuff out of the way first. Boring for most people, however a valuable tool for us bloggers. I’m talking about the “stats”. With 2011 being the first full year for this blog, I really don’t have any information from any previous years to compare with.

So for the year 2011:

  1. Total Views: 10,070
  2. Busiest Month: May
  3. Busiest Day: May 16 with 101 views
  4. Average views per day: 28

I’ve had some exciting birding as we went on road trips several times this year. We had a 3 Rail day as John Marvin and myself drove to Honda Wetlands near Columbus to view Sora’s, Virginia Rail’s, and a rare treat, a King Rail.

A family trip to the Disney World complex of theme parks yielded several new life birds including Anhinga, Loggerhead Shrike, Eurasian-collared Dove, and the beautiful Swallow-tailed Kite foraging for food over the lake at Epcot.

A very special one day trip to Hide-Away-Hills gave this birder a new life bird. For the past couple of years a nesting pair on Mississippi Kites have blessed this resort community with their presence.

May took this birder to the shores of Lake Erie for some serious migrant warbler action. 4 days and 3 nights of some very aggressive, non-stop birding made for some great, and not so great memories. Not so great, was that I lost my cell phone on the drive up (only to be returned by a Good Samaritan) to the great, getting some good views of a Kirtland’s Warbler. (Even though this was a non-confirmed sighting, there were 4 others besides myself who saw the same bird for several minutes).

September took us back to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge as Jonathan Frodge and Phil Burgio took the auto tour of this massive refuge. The big winner this trip was Phil getting 11 new life birds.

A much needed family vacation this time took us to Hilton Head South Carolina. With side trips to Pinckney Island and Savannah N.W.R., this week was beyond awesome. Besides falling in love with the area, the birding was phenominal with 13 new life birds, including the very rare Piping Plover.

I added a new toy to my optical arsenal with a new spotting scope from Vortex. And with a few added attachments I’m now able to digiscope and bring these images back to share with you. It was worth every penny spent. A dynamite scope.

For all you Face Book savvy people out there, I’ve launched “A Birder’s Notebook” as a fan page. So tell your friends and neighbors about it.

This year I set a goal of 300 life birds, and as the end of the year approached I was worried a little. It’s difficult to add a lot of new birds to your list if you live in Ohio. However with my trip to Hilton head in October I need not worry any more. I exceeded 300 and then some for good measure. To view my ‘Life List” you can find it along the top of the blogs’ home page.

New life list birds for the year 2011 include:

  1. Yellow-throated Vireo
  2. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  3. Willet
  4. Little Gull
  5. Iceland Gull
  6. Common Merganser
  7. American White Pelican
  8. Virginia Rail
  9. Marsh Wren
  10. Eastern Screech Owl
  11. Garganey
  12. Wilson’s Phalarope
  13. Long-billed Dowitcher
  14. Kirtland’s Warbler
  15. Bell’s Vireo
  16. Anhinga
  17. Eurasian Collared Dove
  18. Swallow-tailed Kite
  19. Loggerhead Shrike
  20. Least Bittern
  21. King Rail
  22. Yellow-crowned Night Heron
  23. Alder Flycatcher
  24. Mississippi Kite
  25. Western Sandpiper
  26. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
  27. Black-bellied Plover
  28. Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow
  29. Yellow Rail
  30. Sabine’s Gull
  31. Brown-headed Nuthatch
  32. Clapper Rail
  33. Royal Tern
  34. Gull-billed Tern
  35. Marbled Godwit
  36. Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow
  37. Ruddy Turnstone
  38. Seaside Sparrow
  39. Piping Plover
  40. Reddish Egret
  41. Red Knot
  42. Glossy Ibis
  43. Purple Gallinule
  44. Surf Scoter

As I end this year in review I want to thank everyone who reads and comments on my blog. If it wasn’t for you there would be no need for “A Birder’s Notebook”. I want to give out a special thanks to all my birding comrades. You need friends to fully experience what birding is all about. We’ve all birded alone, but we prefer the company of others to share it with.

And finally to my most trustworthy, loyal supporter, my wife Kathy who has put up with my indulgences, spontaneity, and over the top zeal as my obsession at times gets the better of me.

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