It was a great year for bird a-findin' and a-identifyin' (the new terms I am going to use in 2012 instead of 'birding'). I saw 38 new birds in the ABA area and broke through the 500 barrier. I saw 347 species in the USA, my biggest year ever. I birded in Mississippi, Florida, Oregon, Louisiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, Maine and Tennessee. I took boats out to the Dry Tortugas and the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. I sat in a suburban backyard in St. Louis and talked with the owner about Eurasian Tree Sparrow. I seawatched into the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf.
Here are some graphs and other visual illustrations!
This maps shows all the spots I got life birds this year. Drag the map around and click on the blue flags to see what I saw and where.
View 2011 Life Birds in a larger map
Here's a graph showing my accumulation of year birds. The first bird I counted was a Swamp Sparrow at the south end of Sardis Lake, and the last was a vagrant Black-headed Grosbeak in Denton, Maryland. Steep sections in the middle represent trips to Oregon and Florida (March) and Monhegan Island in Maine (September). Click to enlarge:
Here's a graph of the number of species I saw in the 17 states I birded in this year.
And another one for the counties:
Here's a picture that I didn't take to celebrate my 500th ABA bird - and a pretty damn good one if I may say - a Kentucky Warbler.
Looking forward to a big 2012!