Sunday, January 2, 2011

A year in review - Top Ten Birding Moments of 2010...

It was a terrific year of birding.  I enjoyed meeting many birders for the first time, adding new life birds, but most importantly, continuing the learning process by spending countless hours in the field studying birds.  So without further ado, I will list what I deem to be my top 10 birding moments for 2010.

1. The Wilson's Plover that I found at Jones Beach on May 8th.  Best of all about finding this bird was being able to share it with others.  Click on the link to read the full report.

2. My first birding trip to the Adirondacks, where I picked up several lifers, including crippling looks at a Northern Hawk Owl.  Huge thanks to Joe Guinta for making this trip happen. Click on the link for additional photos of the Hawk Owl.

3. My second trip back to the Adirondacks, with dear friends, Pat Lindsay, Shai Mitra and Joan Quinlan.  On this trip, I earned the trifecta bragging rights after picking up in order, Tufted Duck, Ivory Gull and Northern Hawk Owl all on the same day.  Two out the three were lifers and seeing them with Shai, Pat and Joan made it even more special.  I am truly grateful for the kindness of Shai and Pat who invited me along.

4. An invitation to the Massachusetts  Super Bowl of Birding led to a high octane weekend of birding.  It was pretty amazing that 5 guys, some who had never met before were able to work so well with each other with little sleep.  We did not do too shabby either in the competition and our host arranged for us to see a pretty neat bird - a Chaffinch, one of the best kept secrets in MA.  There is a rumor that this team might be back, so keep an eye out for the Bloggerhead Kingbirds.

5. My first Pelagic and a good one it was with the weather not being too bad.  I had gorgeous looks at Black-legged Kittiwakes and Northern Gannets.

6. My life Mourning Warbler, not one, but two in one day and I was able to get off a quick shot that captured this elusive bird.  This was all thanks to Tom Burke's persistence.

 7. Birding the Delmarva Peninsula with Shai Mitra, Patricia Lindsay and Gerta Fritz.  Not many life birds on this trip (1 or 2...I think), but I had an amazing time with friends.  Best of all, was meeting up with friend Andrew Ballideli.  We had quite the celebration, but stayed focused enough to get in lots of good birding.

 8. The Black-bellied Whistling Duck at Jamaica Bay.  Enjoyed stellar views of this bird on the shores of the West Pond trail at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.  As luck would have it, I also re-found and was the last to see this bird on August 2nd.

9. My life Franklin Gull was a long shot chase, but successful thanks to the generosity of Ken and Sue Fuestel and Gerta Fritz who stayed with the bird until I got to the location.  Once again the kindness of Pat Lindsay was appreciated who called to let me know of the bird (she had found it).

10. There are many other highlights that could have made this list.  For example the Common Ground Dove at Captree or the Hermit Warbler at Sunken Meadow.  However, this last entry is a must for this list because it was a memorable time filled with lifers and non-stop birding.  My trip to Arizona with my friend Jeff Ritter.  I have linked to a Wordless Wednesday submission to emphasize the point.  No words needed!

No lofty goals for 2011, just to get better at birding.  Do more on the conservation side and spend more time studying Shorebirds and Gulls.  Maybe do some more Butterflying.

I am truly grateful for the many kindness from naturalists, birders and photographers that I have met in the short time I am birding.  A special thank you to Shai Mitra, Patricia Lindsay, Tom Burke, Gail Benson, Joe Guinta, Joan Quinlan, Gerta Fritz and Lloyd Spitalnik for all your encouragement, tips and support. To all my readers, thank you and I hope you keep coming back.  I'll do my best to keep you entertained :)  Best wishes for a very healthy 2011 filled with birds!

Tags: , ,

Share with Bookmark and Share


noflickster said...

You had some great birding trips over the past 12 months (glad I could join you in the Superbowl)! Hope 2011 is not only equally as good, but surpasses 2010.


Hi Mike - thanks for stopping by and the nice comments. Likewise, it was a pleasure meeting you at Superbowl 2010. Thanks to you, I have been an avid user of eBird :) Hope we get to bird this year ;)

Julie G. said...

Sounds like a great birding year for you. I have very much enjoyed viewing your fabulous photos and reading your wonderful blog. Thank you for sharing your fascinating adventures with us. Looking forward to your 2011 posts!