Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Year in Review

Hi Friends -

2008 is just two days in the bag and I'm already feeling nostalgic.  2008!  Those were the days!  I was so young!

Unlike 2007, I didn't do much birding outside of Maine.  OK, I spent a week in Colorado and a couple days in Quebec, but I didn't see a whole lot.  It was good, though, because sticking around really cranked up the ol' state list (from 178 to 236).    My ABA list, too, jumped from 363 to 391.  Here is the list of new birds for 08:

363. Bohemian Waxwing - Portland (After a looong time searching)
364. Upland Sandpiper - Kennebunk Plains, ME
365. Prairie Warbler - Kennebunk Plains, ME
366. Curlew Sandpiper - Seawall Beach, ME (really fun twitch on the coast)
367. Virginia Rail - Scarborough Marsh
368. Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow - Scarborough Marsh
369. Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow - Scarborough Marsh (all three of these birds found on one beautiful day)
370. Mississippi Kite - Newmarket, NH (a real crummy twitch.  The load of other birders were really acting like jerks.  This search was the inspiration for this, one of my favorite posts on this site)
371. Roseate Tern - Eastern Egg Rock
372. Atlantic Puffin - Eastern Egg Rock
373. Razorbill - Eastern Egg Rock
374. Wilson's Storm-petrel - Matinicus Rock
375. Common Murre - Matinicus Rock
376. Arctic Tern - Matinicus Rock
377. Red-billed Tropicbird - Matinicus Rock (371-377 all came on one incredible Audubon pelagic trip.  It was an absolutely stunning day, and the birds were plentiful.  The highlight was easily the Tropicbird, a real rarity who appeared only after a local biologist came aboard the boat and announced that the bird hadn't been seen for days and was presumed gone.  Unreal.)
378. Whimbrel - Pine Point
379. Marbled Godwit - Pine Point
380. Black-legged Kitiwake - St. Lawrence River whale watch. 
381. Stilt Sandpiper - Scarborough Marsh
382. Northern Wheatear - Cumberland, ME (Days like this remind me why I love birding.  A cool morning alone on a beautiful little hill I had never heard of before, and would never have found had a Northern Wheatear not been reported there.)
383. Lesser Black-backed Gull - Dyer Point (I had been chasing LBBGs for awhile, and had a nagging doubt that I had just overlooked them previously.  I got a boost of confidence, though, because I knew this bird's ID the moment I saw it.)
384. Greater White-fronted Goose - Yarmouth, ME
385. Barnacle Goose - Yarmouth, ME
386. European Golden-plover - Scarborough Marsh (Great bird, and great fun tracking it down.)
387. Lapland Longspur - Scarborough Marsh (One of the highlights of a great day birding with Abby, Don and Becky)
388. Cave Swallow - Two Lights SP
389. Dickcissal - Yarmouth, ME
390. White-winged Crossbill - Falmouth, ME (hometown CBC)
391. Varied Thrust - South Portland, ME (a real target bird hanging out, still, at a feeder in SoPo)

What's up for 2009?  I gotta say, being a full-time law student has been tough.  The obvious target is 400 ABA birds, but getting them without leaving the state may be tough.  Things are looking good so far, the first bird I saw in 2009 was one that I missed all through 2008: A Red-bellied Woodpecker in Central Park, NYC.  

Here's to another great year!


John B. said...

Sounds like a great birding year. For me it's hard to imagine going a year without seeing RBWO, but I guess that's not so unusual in Maine.

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