Reflections

2013 by the Numbers

  • 200 birds this year, picking up the 200th bird during a CBC.
  • 212 life birds in NJ.
  • 66 new life birds.

2013 was a a good benchmark year. It gave me a sense of where my birding skills stand, what I need to work on improving. I gained valuable experience birding on my own and with others.

Barn Swallow reflection.

Barn Swallow reflection.

I started off 2013 with renewed interest in birding and set three goals for myself:

1. Bird at least 1x per month in Union Co., NJ
2. Use ebird.org to record observations
3. Learn warblers

Goal #1: Fail. I birded all of 1 month in Union.  I didn’t anticipate the toll working far from home would take.  My commute was an hour in the morning and closer to 90 minutes on the return drive.  Doesn’t leave much time for birding. That plus going to school full-time and finishing a thesis. Then I moved out in June and haven’t returned to bird as there have been other, better locations for birding.

Goal #2: Success.  As of the 27th, I’ve submitted 223 lists for the year. More detailed breakdown at the end of the post

Yellow Warbler laments a lack of leaves.

Yellow Warbler. May 2013. Tallman State Park, NY.

Goal #3: Some success. It’ll be an ongoing processes, but a fun one! Saw 22 warbler species this year, whereas I had only seen seven previously.  I saw a few more that were very blurry blobs that I didn’t feel were fair to count and I can’t promise I’d recognize them all again, but at least it’s a start.

month # lists #species  best bird
January  50 70 Red-throated Loon
February  34 52 Pink-footed Goose
March  25 60 Snow Bunting
April  22 48 Black-and-white Warbler
May  24 114 Blue-winged Warbler
June  16 64 Willow Flycatcher
July  5 37 Green Heron
August  22  65 Spotted Sandpiper
September  4  72 American Avocet
October  8  57 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
November  5  63 Purple Sandpiper
December  8  79 Short-eared Owl
Year 223 200  Barred Owl

Now I need to figure out some new goals for 2014 which ideally should reflect that transient nature of my life at the moment.  But I’ll be starting off the year with a blast, somewhere far from cold, cold New Jersey.

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4 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. Hey nice work Kathleen! Nobody has a perfect run but it sounds and looks like a solid year of 2013 birding. That commute sounds very difficult though, especially with everything else going on. Here’s hoping for a relaxing and feathery 2014 for ya!

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