2020 The Year in Birds

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

eBird tells me I saw a reasonable 346 species last year. There are probably a few here and there I didn’t report. 165 of those were in Kings County. That’s not awful given that I didn’t take any international trips or birding tours last year. Thanks to a Shearwater pelagic out of Monterey, I added 4 life birds to my list:

  • Black-footed Albatross Shearwater Journeys_09/15/2019_Leg 5/6 US-CA 15 Sep 2019
  • Sabine’s Gull Shearwater Journeys_09/15/2019_Leg 3/6 US-CA 15 Sep 2019
  • Red Phalarope Shearwater Journeys_09/15/2019_Leg 1/6 US-CA 15 Sep 2019
  • Ashy Storm-Petrel Monterey Bay pelagic–inshore Monterey Harbor to Pt. Pinos (MTY Co.)
  • Black-throated Magpie-Jay Kit Carson Park US-CA 23 Aug 2019

That’s actually five species, but the Black-throated Magpie-Jay isn’t officially countable in the U.S. since it likely either is or descends from escaped pets and does not have an established population. Still a gorgeous bird though.

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2018 The Year in Birds

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

eBird tells me I saw a reasonable 404 species last year. There are probably a few here and there I didn’t report. 146 of those were in Kings County. Thanks to trips to California, New Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, Vancouver, Portugal, and Morocco I managed a respectable 20 life birds including one in Brooklyn and one in Central Park:

  • Spotless Starling A1, Casablanca-Settat, MA (33.033, -8.533) MA-10 02 Dec 2018
  • Brown-necked Raven Essaouira Lodge MA-11 01 Dec 2018
  • Sardinian Warbler Essaouira Lodge MA-11 01 Dec 2018
  • Moussier’s Redstart Essaouira Lodge MA-11 01 Dec 2018
  • Corn Bunting Essaouira Lodge MA-11 01 Dec 2018
  • Maghreb Magpie Boulevard Mohamed VI, Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, MA (31.61, -8.003) MA-11 30 Nov 2018
  • House Bunting Jemaa el-Fnaa MA-11 26 Nov 2018
  • Common Bulbul Avenue du 7ème Art, Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, MA (31.594, -7.99) MA-11 25 Nov 2018
  • White Stork Avenue du 7ème Art, Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, MA (31.594, -7.99) MA-11 25 Nov 2018
  • Northwestern Crow Vancouver–Harbour Green Park CA-BC 28 Aug 2018
  • Black Rail Alviso Marina County Park US-CA 16 Aug 2018
  • Dusky Grouse Elliot Barker Trailhead US-NM 25 Jun 2018
  • Brewer’s Sparrow Eagle Nest SP – Moreno Day Use Area US-NM 23 Jun 2018
  • Lewis’s Woodpecker Angel Fire Resort US-NM 22 Jun 2018
  • Black-billed Magpie Randall Davey Audubon Center US-NM 16 Jun 2018
  • Scaled Quail Embudito Canyon US-NM 15 Jun 2018
  • Black-chinned Sparrow Embudito Canyon US-NM 15 Jun 2018
  • Kirtland’s Warbler Central Park–Reservoir US-NY 12 May 2018
  • Bachman’s Sparrow Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park US-FL 18 Mar 2018
  • Rough-legged Hawk Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park US-NY 20 Jan 2018

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2017 The Year in Birds

Monday, January 1st, 2018

eBird tells me I saw a moderate 287 species last year. There are probably a few here and there I didn’t report. 169 of those were in Kings County. I didn’t travel to any new locations this year, so I only managed four life birds (and three if you don’t count the invasive Pin-tailed Whydah) but they were all really good ones:

  • Hammond’s Flycatcher Central Park–The Ramble US-NY 02 Dec 2017
  • Corn Crake Cedar Beach, general area US-NY 08 Nov 2017
  • Parakeet Auklet Land’s End–seawatch US-CA 25 Jul 2017
  • Pin-tailed Whydah Canyon Park US-CA 17 Jun 2017

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2015: The Year in Birds

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Between my eye surgery in March that took 6 months to fully recover from and a major writing commitment that occupied most of my weekends before that, 2015 was not my best birding year. Nonetheless, I did manage trips to Oregon and Hawaii; and some rarities visited my “backyard.”

According to eBird, I added 20 species to my life list in 2015, though many of those are introduced exotics in Hawaii. Hawaii doesn’t seem to have a bird records committee, so there’s no one to rule on which ones “count” and which ones don’t. Clearly native birds like Wedge-tailed Shearwater and Hawaiian Coot count, but what to do about Red-crested Cardinal and Hwamei?
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Sunday Dinner

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Red-tailed Hawk with dead mouse

Red-tailed Hawk with dead mouse
Brooklyn Botanic Garden native flora garden at noon

Chipping Sparrow

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow in Fall Migration, Brooklyn Botanic Garden