Birding 2009

Another year has passed and I get to look back at what I have done throughout the year. In this case, I get to see what I did and enjoyed when looking at birds (and butterflies & dragonflies). It was a slower year for me – I got out a lot less than I had in the past, and was able to enjoy many fewer walks and hikes to search out the peace I get when I’m birding. In the past, even going to nearby Palmyra Cove a dozen times a year and walking the familiar paths after work or on a Saturday morning was a joy – but one that seemed to escape me all too often this busy year. On the other hand, I had the amazing experience of birding in Arizona in April & May – something I would love to repeat someday soon.

Still, any time birding is a bonus and I did have the opportunity to get out more than a few times. Here’s a look back at 2009:


Total Species (overall): 421 species
Total Species (2009): 209
New Species (2009): 76

New Jersey

Total Species (overall): 225 species
Total Species (2009): 145
New Species (2009): 11


The year started off well, with 5 new species early in January, all relative rarities in my area: Green-tailed Towhee, Snowy Owl, Rough-Legged Hawk, Horned Grebe and White-winged Crossbill. Obviously, the Arizona trip was a major highlight – lots of new species (69, to be exact), great scenery and habitats, as well as a few lifebirds in the real sense – the Elegant Trogon, Flame-colored Tanager and White-eared Hummingbird. Seeing the Trogons was an amazing thing – especially since I got to see them mating, as well.

After a slow spring and summer with little birding, I was able to end the year on a high note with 2 more addition to the lifelist (Ivory Gull and Eurasian Wigeon), plus a new state bird (Spotted Towhee).

Overall, a slow year of birding – not many times out and not a whole lot of new birds outside of Arizona – but I’m still happy with what I got to do. Not sure how much I’ll get out in 2010 – but my goal is to top 450 species, but that will probably require a few day trips or some extra travel to get. Not that I mind that!

Pictorial Highlights

What's all the hubbub ... bub? You made a wrong turn over Albuquerque... Tiny Dancer Send in the Clowns I Hear You Knockin' (But You Can't Come In) Posing Pretty Side View Beauty and the Branch Picture Perfect Along the treetops Mr. Black Where's the Fire My Best Side Target Acquired Same Place, Same Wren Channel Beauty. Tell-Tale Eye Mexican Blues Standing Proud Majestic A Little Heavy on the Eye-liner Like Moths to a Flame Flying Gemstone Green with Envy Pretty as a Picture. White-winged Crossbill Horned Grebe Green-tailed Towhee (extralimital)

As always, you can see my Best of 2009 set on Flickr.


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