2008 Birding

Well, it was definitely a slower year of birding this year than last. My job took up a LOT more time, and mother nature stepped in with a long string of bleary weekends during fall migration to limit my time even further.

Still, it was a fun year when we did get to go out. For the year I saw 187 species in 2008, 165 of them in NJ. I added 9 species to my lifelist, and 12 species to my NJ State list – not too shabby for not leaving the area pretty much all year except for NC, which was a birding bust. My new additions:

      Blue Grosbeak
      Bonaparte’s Gull
      Horned Lark
      Barred Owl
      Red-necked Pharalope
      Wilson’s Pharalope
      Curlew Sandpiper
      Worm-eating Warbler

I got my overalls lifelist and state lists to 345 and 216, respectively, but my goal is to top 400 by the end of 2009 (maybe more if I can finagle a trip out of the country).

Treat Howdy! Glance Askance Makes me want to sing!

Butterflies and Moths

My butterfly habit (thanks … Joe!) was sadly unfulfilled this year, mostly because of a dearth of butterflies in the few times I could get out (only 41 species total – 2007 had 69 species, but many of those were in Texas). And it wasn’t just me – I heard many people complaining that the number of butterflies seemed down dramatically this year, the second year in a row with low numbers. I hope it’s not a trend. But I still managed to add 6 new species to my lifelist (Mimosa Skipper, Pink-Edged Sulphur, Painted Lady, Gulf Fritillary and 2 sub-species of Spring Azure) and 3 new species to my NJ state list. My totals are now 89 species of butterflies (36 of skippers) overall, with 52 in NJ (21 skippers).

Moths-wise, I also added 6 new species to my lifelist (Large Necklace Moth, Celery Leaftier, Squash Vine Borer, Banded Tussock Moth, Boxwood Leaftier and the especially impressive Imperial Moth) and 5 new species to my NJ state list. My totals are now 37 species of butterflies overall, with 18 in NJ.

Luna Presenting... Luck is a Lady Orange You Sad Summer's Almost Gone?


I have to attribute (blame?) my dragonfly habit partially on Joe, too, although dragonflies are a little more macho than butterflies, I guess. For me it was a mixed bag this year – only 26 species seen all year – and not a whole lot of new species. But I DID get a chance to get some really nice shots of species both old and new. Added to my lifelist were 4 new species (Beaverpond Baskettail, Common Baskettail, Slender Baskettail and Unicorn Clubtail); 3 of those were new to my NJ state list, too. New lifelists are at 42 species of dragonflies (20 in NJ).

Damselflies were a little tougher this year, although like the dragonflies I got more good picture than I did new species. The usual suspects were plentiful but newcomers were hard to find. I only added 2 new species to my lifelist and NJ list (Blackwater Bluet and Blue-fronted Dancer); in fact, I only saw 9 species of damselfly all year – kind of sad. Lifelists/NJ list stand at 18 and 15 species, respectively.

Um ... a little help here, please?!?! Glide Spotlighting a Different Color Blue-fronted... um, yeah right.

If you want to check out my best pictures from the year (not just birds), feel free to click the picture below.

Best of 2008

Happy New Year to everyone!


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