Big Year 2013 – January

I decided that in 2013, I was going to do a “Big Year” – or rather a semi Big Year (I’m not going to be traveling all over the country to chase). My goal is to break my personal records for most species seen & most seen in NJ (205 & 150, respectively). And January is starting me off at a good pace.

January Tally

Year Stats
93 Month 93
Lifers 5
NJ Species 93
State List 8

It’s been great – cold many times, but great birding. I was able to make 4 trips out: Cape May on the 5th, North Shore on the 13th, Central NJ on the 18th, Tom’s River on the 21st. I picked up at least one lifer on 3 of the 4 trips, which isn’t too shabby. My trip totals:

Date Location Species Lifer FOY
Jan 5 Cape May 66 1 54
Jan 13 North Shore 51 1 13
Jan 18 Central NJ 40 2 5
Jan 21 Tom’s River 29 0 1

Cape May started me off right with 66 species including a lifer Western Grebe
Backwards Grebe

I also picked up a lifer closer to home – Dave Magpiong let me know about Common Redpolls being seen right up the road. When I got there, I was able to see a few of them … although ironically, when I got home there was one in a tree in my front yard!

Red Cap

The North Shore was a frigid exercise in birding but netted 51 species including a lifer in my first east coast alcid, a pair of Razorbills seen at Manasquan Inlet…

Central NJ was a mixed bag. The frigid day started off with the mega rarity Northern Lapwings which were hanging out in a cow field only a few yards away from some Sandhill Cranes (a new state bird). Lake Assunpink was mostly a bust, but I got to see a Merlin while driving up the Garden State Expressway. Most of the rest of the trip was a bust but I ended my day closer to home, seeing a lifer Rufous Hummingbird (no photos, unfortunately)

I think I Sandhill Cranes

My last trip to Tom’s River was to search for an up close and personal look at a Pink-Footed Goose. I didn’t get it at “Marshall’s Pond”, but I was lucky enough to get a good luck at a nearby soccer field. Not a lifer (I saw one last November) but a FOS bird for me.

Pink-footed Goose

Sadly, after January 21st my birding dwindled but I added a few more birds in my own yard to bring the monthly total to 93. Not a bad start and hopefully February will jump up the number by a bit.


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