Saturday, January 01, 2011

Best Birds of 2010 and Looking Forward to 2011

A few other bloggers have listed their best birds of 2010 (including one list with a contribution from me). My best bird of 2010 was the Chaffinch I saw in Massachusetts with the other Bloggerhead Kingbirds. This vagrant from Europe was staying at the home of another blogger, Jason of Brewster's Linnet, and he allowed us to stop by and see the bird as long as we kept the location secret. (His neighborhood did not have adequate parking to accommodate a sudden influx, so instead of publicizing it, he quietly invited most interested birders to see it individually.) In addition to the Chaffinch, I saw 13 other life birds, including a very satisfying look at a Northern Saw-whet Owl (pictured above) and good views of a Black-legged Kittiwake, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and a Golden-winged Warbler. Then there was also a White-faced Ibis, which had gone unreported at one of the less birded sites in Cape May. Below is a table with the life birds, places, and dates.

Species Location Date
Northern Saw-whet Owl Burlington (MA) 01/29/10
Common Chaffinch Waltham (MA) 01/29/10
Black-legged Kittiwake Andrew's Point (MA) 01/30/10
Black Guillemot Bass Rocks (MA) 01/30/10
Eared Grebe Nummy Island (NJ) 03/18/10
Golden-winged Warbler Tuxedo (NY) 05/16/10
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Cape May Point State Park 05/20/10
Whip-poor-will Turkey Point (NJ) 05/20/10
White-faced Ibis Stimpson Island Rd. (NJ) 05/21/10
Wilson's Phalarope Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge 08/06/10
Stilt Sandpiper Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge 08/06/10
American White Pelican Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge 08/06/10
King Eider Concrete Ship, Cape May 09/23/10
American Golden-Plover Forsythe NWR--Wildlife Drive 11/16/10

Since I am posting this in 2011, I want to look forward to the new year as well as remember the past one. There should be some good birding opportunities this year, such as a return trip to northeastern Massachusetts and hopefully some trips to Cape May. Here is a list of ten life birds I hope to see this year, all of which are possible to see on the east coast.
  1. Greater White-fronted Goose
  2. Dovekie
  3. Ruffed Grouse
  4. Pine Grosbeak
  5. Chuck-will's-widow
  6. Barn Owl
  7. Northern Wheatear
  8. Hudsonian Godwit
  9. Buff-breasted Sandpiper
  10. Lapland Longspur
Here is a list ten new species I would like to see in my county. These are not life birds, I just have not recorded them in Middlesex County yet.
  1. Forster's Tern (I am not sure why this bird is missing.)
  2. Northern Shoveler
  3. Blue-winged Teal
  4. Cattle Egret
  5. American Kestrel
  6. Eastern Screech Owl
  7. Horned Lark
  8. Fox Sparrow
  9. Lincoln's Sparrow
  10. Rusty Blackbird
I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful new year filled with lots of great birds!