It’s been almost an entire year since I last posted on here. Since then, a lot has transpired!
I’ve had the opportunity to add 26 new birds to my life list. It’s hard to know which ones to highlight, and so I’ve decided to limit myself to listing five here:
- Little Egret (Maine)
- Atlantic Puffin (Maine)
- Cory’s Shearwater (Maine)
- Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Essex)
- Slaty-backed Gull (Essex)
Overall, the shorebird selection in the town of Essex has been poor, probably due to extremely high water levels. There still have been some nice shorebirds, and a pleasant surprise was finding the first ever Snowy Egret at the West Lagoons. It was my first Snowy Egret in Essex County!
The biggest birding highlight of 2019 has been, without a doubt, the extreme fallout I was able to witness at Point Pelee on May 9th. I picked the day without knowledge of what would happen, but boy was I ever thankful I picked the 9th! Though I only saw one new lifer bird, the migration activity was mind boggling. Due to rain and needing to leave, I stopped short of 100 species. The final tally was 98 species, 22 of which were warblers. It wasn’t just the species total that was mind-boggling, it was also the sheer number of birds and how close up I could see them.
Looking at my 2019 birding goals, here is a progress update. While I made some progress, it looks like I may not reach the half way point (if I can find a Red-throated Loon or Northern Shrike, I will reach half).
See 220 species for the year in Essex County. See 240 species for the year in North America. Reach 150 species for my life in the USA (currently at 140, so just 10 more).
- See a Northern Shrike (missed in 2017 and 2018)
- See a Red-throated Loon (missed in 2018)
See a Long-tailed Duck (missed in 2018)
- See a Yellow-headed Blackbird (lifer)
- See a Little Blue Heron (lifer–the last of the realistic Ontario heron/egret species)
See or hear a Saw Whet Owl (lifer)
- See a Barred Owl (lifer)
- See a Blue-winged Warbler (lifer)
- See a Golden-winged Warbler (lifer)
Now, at the beginning of December, things have obviously slowed down a lot. I’m currently looking forward to participating the Pelee Christmas Bird Count, which is the week after next!