Let me first start out this year in review with an apology to all my readers. I’ve not been a very good blogger and have lagged behind in posting anything of interest. Some of this was due to my broken ankle at the end of Spring and lasting through the Summer. Those weeks that I was laid up kept me both from birding and blogging. Compounding this was a couple bouts of having the cold, which as a member of the senior population takes longer to get over. With that being said lets put this year behind us and hope that 2020 is a better year both for you personally, and birding.
For myself 2019 was a pretty good year for birds. I was able to add 11 new birds to my life list, with the latest being a Prairie Falcon that’s been hanging out in the flat farm land west of Bowling Green Ohio. I picked up that bird yesterday.
Below are 6 of the 11 new birds spotted in 2019, and if it wasn’t for our family vacation to Maine my yearly number would be significantly lower.
- Common Eider
- Sooty Shearwater
- Great Shearwater
- Atlantic Puffin
- Northern Fulmer
- Black Guillemot
- Great Cormorant
For the greatest distance driven by car to tick off a new bird lies with the now famous Tufted Duck of Fennville Michigan.
back on April 28th I drove one way 335 miles to check this bird off my life list. Did this seem excessive driving just for 1 bird? Sure it was. However it was worth the drive to see a bird that I’ll probably never see again.
Most satisfying Bird of 2019: Well that honor goes to the Red Phalarope that I was able to check off the old Life List on November 3rd. Now I’m finally able to check off all North American Phalarope species with this beautiful bird that was spotted at Brookville Lake in Indiana.
For the 2 most surprising new birds of 2019 would have to be the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and the Prairie Falcon. Even though I don’t have any photos of these birds, they are without a doubt the most surprising birds that I never would expect to see this year.
As I reflect on 2019 I can’t help but to look forward to 2020, which will prove to be the most “birdiest” year to date. In the past I’ve had some very good years for birds but this coming year should put me past a personal milestone of 500 ABA birds.
In the next few weeks I’ll start making plans on going to the Southwest Wings Spring Fling in Sierra Vista Arizona. Long have I wanted to visit Arizona for their abundance of great birds. Like my trip to the Rio Grande Birding Festival, this trip should push me past the 500 mark for total birds.
If for some reason I don’t reach 500 by the end of that trip, I have yet another trip that will tip it into my favor. My eldest son is getting married on Oahu Hawaii in November. I’ll be there for 2 weeks. I can only imagine the birds I’ll be seeing.
These two trips have my brain on overdrive. After the holidays are over then I can start to concentrate on the task at hand. Study the birds and their songs and calls. I need to prepare. And it’s this preparation that makes us better birders.
With 2019 almost in the past, let us look forward to a better 2020, and better birds.
Happy New Year to you all.