A New Year in the Life of a Birder

Like most Birders I was really looking forward to the start of the new year.  Every bird you see is one you haven’t seen yet … this year,  so even encounters with the common species have a little added excitement. With the end of my Palm Beach County Photographic Big Year I’m looking forward to a less frenetic year of birding. Last year I was constantly searching for that next new species and while it was a wonderful year I am looking forward to a more casual birding schedule. 

There were times last year when I actually felt bad if I took the day off.  I had found 18o species in the first 5 months which is like 3-4 species a day and while that was a fantastic way to start, the last 7 months saw periods of a couple of days or more when I didn’t see anything new and that does start to where on you.  I’m really glad I did it … but I’m happy it’s a new year.

Ruddy Duck ... Today 1/2/13 at Green Cay Wetlands.  It would be wonderful to find EVERY species that is this cooperative!!!

Ruddy Duck … Today 1/2/13 at Green Cay Wetlands. It would be wonderful to find EVERY species that is this cooperative!!!

My goals are pretty simple this year.  Chase some of the rarities that I missed last year by confining myself to the county.  Increase the quality of pictures of some of the Florida species I’ve seen and add a few new species to that list and the one major list I’m going to work on this year is a “Green” list.  I will be counting and making a list of all the birds I can see while using nothing more than my feet or my bike and lastly I’m going to do my best to upload my Ebird checklist daily.

 

Neotropic Cormorant ... What a fantastic bird to start the year off with.

Neotropic Cormorant … What a fantastic bird to start the year off with.

 

Yesterday I rode to Wakodahatchee Wetlands to start my New Years with a Rarity.  Last year a couple of Neotropic Cormorants were discovered nesting there and amazingly they’ve returned and were refound about 3 weeks ago.  This bird is so unusual for our area that Ebird doesn’t even list it as a Rarity.  You have to add the species yourself.

Savannah Sparrow ... The first new "list" bird of the year!

Savannah Sparrow … The first new “list” bird of the year!

Today I rode to Green Cay Wetlands and had a wonderful walk with Linda, Brian and Dr. Alan.  Besides the very cooperative Ruddy Duck, Linda and I picked up a new bird for our Green Cay lists.  Very close to the end of our walk Dr. Alan noticed a smaller bird that we quickly identified as a Savannah Sparrow.  I know it’s not an uncommon bird for Florida but in the 6-7 years that both Linda and I have birded here it was a first sighting for both of us.  I’m not sure what number it was for me but it was an incredible 185th species for Linda at Green Cay!  That is an amazing number!!

I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year and thank you so much for following me and my blog.  I feel so totally blessed that God is allowing me to share some of his wonderful creatures with everyone and will do my best to keep on keeping on!!

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About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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4 Responses to A New Year in the Life of a Birder

  1. Happy New Year to you! Looking forward to seeing another year of your wonderful photographs.

  2. Vicki says:

    the reflection in the first one is beautiful! I like the Cormorant and the Savannah Sparrow as well.

  3. That’s a very charismatic Savannah Sparrow. Great idea for the Green List – the amount of driving that birding often involves always worries me; hooray for encouraging environmentally friendly birding!

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