I’ve been a member of Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird site since 2012 (since then I’ve also submitted data doing back to 2003). Yesterday, I submitted my 1000th checklist.
Like most of my eBird checklists, checklist #1000 was quite ordinary. I went to Lakeview Park and Marina along the Detroit River. Unlike earlier in the winter when the river was partially frozen, there was a meager amount of waterfowl. I did see my first Hooded and Red-Breasted Mergansers of March 2018, but beyond there there wasn’t anything worth mentioning.
(Checklist #1001, on the other hand, was a Snowy Owl I saw in the town of Essex!)
I figured it might be appropriate to celebrate this milestone by sharing my “top 10” checklists.
10. A 6 lifer trip to Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson, New Hampshire in July 2017 They were: Purple Finch, Lincoln’s Sparrow, American Bittern, Wood Thrush, Marsh Wren, and Least Flycatcher. Living in Southern ON, it was weird to see 5 warbler species in *July*!
9. The time in May 2017 when before 7am I spent 39 minutes at Sadler’s Pond in Essex. This trip yielded 4 lifers and 5 warbler species. And a 36 minute trip to Malden Park later that day brought the lifer count up to 9 for the day! Between the two trips, that’s a lifer every 8 minutes!
8. My first Great Horned Owl. Seen up close at Derwent Park in January 2018.
7. The Hudsonian Godwit at Essex West lagoons in October 2017. By that point in the fall, the shorebirds present in the lagoons were starting to thin out, but nevertheless, a Godwit showed up among a small group of yellow legs!
6. The Glossy Ibis at the Harrow Lagoons in September 2017. What a treat!
5. The Townsend’s Solitare hanging out at Point Pelee in February 2018, a extremely rare vagrant which seems to have been way off course.
4. The time when I was able to add Short-eared owl to my life-list in February 2017! And not just one, but five of them!
3. The amazingly up-close views of a young Yellow-crowned Night-Heron I got along the River Canard in September 2017. And that was after a couple failed attempts to find it! I was ready to give up.
2. The epic family trip to Point Pelee in August 2017 that added Wood Stork to the Point Pelee bird list. I submitted a few different checklists from different locations within the park, but here is the one that includes the stork. This incredible rarity was first seen by my lovely wife!
1. The time I was sick at home in May 2012 and a Summer Tanager dropped by (resulting in my first eBird checklist). I live on a busy corner in town, but that does not preclude rarities! This rarity, too, was first seen by my wife!
Honorable mentions (but not quite able to make the top ten):
– An amazingly large flight of 19 Ross’s Geese at Jack Miner’s in December 2017.
– A number of short visits to the Essex Lagoons in May and August 2017 which yielded a number of significant lifers (such as Short-billed Dowitcher, Stilt Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Wilson’s Phalarope, and Bobolink)