Tuesday, January 1, 2008
First Bird of 2008
Do you do this? Every year on January 1, I look outside my windows to see the first bird of the New Year. Last year, it was a Song Sparrow. This year, American Goldfinch. Points go to my sister, who predicted "some kind of finch" would be the First Bird this year. A pretty good guess, since I am having a bumper crop of both House Finches and goldfinches this year. No winter irruptives yet, but I am holding out hope for a return of Purple Finches, which I have had here only once. My rural home, a former hay field, doesn't have enough trees for Pine Siskins, redpolls or crossbills, the other boreal birds which are being spotted all over Ohio this winter.
My 2007 Birding Year in Review:
I had a Year List total of 178, compared to 180 in 2006, the first time I ever kept a Year List. Of those, 164 were Ohio birds. The only out-of-state birding I have done is a week at the New River Gorge Birding Festival in West Virginia and a day trip to Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana.
I had 20 Life Birds in 2007, compared to 30 in 2006 and 18 in 2005. This brings my total Life List to 277. The birds and their locations were:
Feb: Long-tailed Duck (formerly "Oldsquaw"), Camp Dennison gravel pits
Feb: Merlin, Armelder Park, Cincinnati
Feb: Lapland Longspur, Armleder Park
Feb: Snow Bunting, Armleder Park
May: Spotted Sandpiper, New River, W.Va.
May: Broad-winged Hawk, New River, W.Va. (Thanks, BT3)
May: Prairie Warbler, New River, W.Va. (ditto)
May: Canada Warbler, New River, W.Va. (ditto)
May: Cerulean Warbler, New River, W.Va.
May: Worm-eating Warbler, New River, W.Va.
May: Swainson's Warbler, New River, W.Va. (Thanks, Julie)
May: Black-billed Cuckoo (heard only), New River, W.Va. (saw in Sept, Magee Marsh)
May: Cliff Swallows, nesting under bridge over the Little Miami River, Cincy
May: Blue Grosbeak (a nemesis bird), Cincinnati Nature Center wetlands
May: Least Sandpiper, Killbuck, OH
May: Vesper Sparrow, Mohican State Park
May: Barn Owl, Higginsport, OH (along the Ohio River) followed by a look inside a nest box at the OOS meeting, near Mohican State Park, also in May
June: Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, nesting in Bexley, OH (Columbus suburb)
Sept: Sharp-shinned Hawk (another nemesis), Back to the Wild, Castilia, OH (free-flying, not a rescue bird)
Dec: White-winged Crossbill, Cincinnati area
What new birds have you seen this year?