My birding year 2008 was a productive one. I got to take several trips, met new birding buddies, and picked up a grand total of 30 Life Birds, which brought my Life List to 309 species. For the year, I had 202 species, which blows my old record of 180 out of the water.
In January, I took a trip to the Orlando, Florida for a veterinary convention, and extended it with a visit to my family. I got 11 Life Birds there, including my number one target bird for the trip, the Florida Scrub-Jay.
I visited Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in May for International Migratory Bird Day weekend, where I picked up Gray-cheeked Thrush and a heard-only Sedge Wren.
I did several day trips locally. One was with Oxbow, Inc., to bird the Oxbow area of the Ohio River, in southeastern Indiana. I picked up two Life Birds here - Stilt Sandpipers and my 300th bird, Green-winged Teal. Another was organized and run by the Cincinnati Bird Club to East Fork State Park, where I got Glaucous Gull as a Lifer.
I joined the Cincinnati Nature Center on their Saturday morning walks once or twice, plus, I did the Cincinnati Christmas Bird Count in December. No lifers on any of these trips, but good birding nonetheless. And, I birded alone quite a bit, which always refreshes my spirit.
I chased some birds that I didn't get - the Black Rail near Circleville and the Preble County Snowy Owl. That's OK; if we got them all the first time, birding would be boring.
Life Birds in 2008
GREEN-WINGED TEAL[ind, nj]
SURF SCOTER [nj]
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER [nj]
BLACK SCOTER [nj]
GLAUCOUS GULL [East Fork State Park, OH]
LAUGHING GULL [fla, nj]
FRANKLIN’S GULL [East Fork State Park, OH]
ROYAL TERN [fla]
FORSTER’S TERN [fla, nj]
BLACK TERN [Armleder Park, OH]
BLACK SKIMMER [nj]
LITTLE BLUE HERON [fla]
TRICOLORED HERON [fla]
AMERICAN BITTERN [fla, Ottawa NWR, OH]
GLOSSY IBIS [fla]
WHITE IBIS [fla]
ROSEATE SPOONBILL [fla]
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER [nj]
STILT SANDPIPER [ind]
SHORT-EARED OWL [Armleder Park, OH]
NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL [near Mason, OH]
ALDER FLYCATCHER [Charlie's Pond, Circleville, OH]
FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY [fla]
SEDGE WREN [heard only, Magee Marsh, OH]
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH [Magee Marsh, OH]
HENSLOW’S SPARROW [Charlie's Pond, Circleville, OH]
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW [Charlie's Pond, Circleville, OH]
new Yard Birds for 2008:
How was your birding year?