Tuesday, January 05, 2010

2009 The (Birding) year that was

The year 2009 started with a big bang for us. My wife and I celebrated new year's day at Salton Sea and boy were we so happy to have made that trip. Racking up three lifers on that day alone sort of set the trend for what will happen on the following 364 days.

Also, for the first time in my relatively short birding experience, I decided to keep a year list inasmuch as this will be my last full year in the United States. In 2010, Cynthia and I will retire in the Philippines.

New Year's Eve and we were travelling to Benicia in Northern California to visit some friends. I told my wife that I hoped that we would see a Yellow-billed Magpie which I thought would be a fitting final bird for my yearlist. A few miles after we entered Hwy 580, Cynthia excitedly pointed to a long-tailed bird perched on a roadside tree. Then two more flew across the highway and I knew without a doubt that I got my final species for the year bringing my total to 341; 306 in the United States and 35 from the Philippines. Of these, 61 were lifers, 43 American and 18 Philippines. Not a bad tally considering we confined our birding to California in 2009, except for a two-week visit to the Philippines and a 4 day trip to Florida.

Of those lifers, most memorable was the California Condor we saw at Big Sur.

The others were surprisingly easy: Common Goldeneye and Black Scoter at Playa del Rey,

Common Goldeneye
Black Scoter

White-winged Scoter at Bolsa Chica,

King Eider at Cabrillo Beach

and Williamson's Sapsucker at Sylmar

and Bobolink at Bonelli.

Cynthia and I are hoping that 2010 will be another great birding year for us, especially since we will do most part of it in our native country.

1 comment:

Felicia said...

I'm happy that you'll be soon expanding your life list in the tropics, in the company of friends, family, and yummy local food! But for purely selfish reasons, I'll miss having you around to keep me appraised on all the good birds in my old So Cal haunts.

Do keep posting, wherever you might be! I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures.