2013 in Review

Looking back on the past 12 months, I did a lot of bird-y things in 2013 — helping out with the Edmonton Nature Club’s Young Naturalists’ Corner at the Snow Goose Chase, raising money for Bird Studies Canada and my local naturalist society with the Baillie Birdathonbirding in Central Park, a month-long internship in Ontario helping with fall migration monitoring, working on my Young Birder of the Year projects, and the Alberta Birds Facebook group I started in 2012 is up to 763 members, including lots of great birders and photographers.

A Savannah Sparrow (digiscoped) in June,

IMG_0435

I added 31 new species to my Life List, putting it at 266 species. I was a little disappointed with my Alberta List, since I saw only 137 species compared to 154 last year. For my Year List, I saw 22 mammal species and 210 bird species.

On of my lifers this year — a Harris’s Sparrow that showed up at my feeders this past spring,

IMG_5320

I added a new species to my humble yard list — a Blue Jay which stayed for only a few minutes in October, but I was very excited to see it,

IMG_6210

A Double-crested Cormorant in Central Park in July,

IMG_5724

Birding in Central Park

We arrived in New York City on Saturday, July 6th, and on Sunday morning at 9 am I went on a bird walk with Bob DeCandido (“Birding Bob”) and Deb Allen in Central Park. It was a very hot day (we found at the end of the day there had been an extreme heat and humidity warning for City), but we saw some great birds including an early migrant — a female Black-and-white Warbler, which was very exciting.

I counted 27 species in total on the Central Park walk, and added Chimney Swift, Great-crested Flycatcher, Black-crowned Night Heron, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, and Black-and-white Warbler to my “Year List”.

The walk started at the Turtle Pond dock and it was very nice to be greeted by about 15 Red-eared Sliders,

IMG_5656

A Red-eared Slider,

IMG_5657

A Red-bellied Woodpecker,

IMG_5676

Part of the group watching a Great-crested Flycatcher,

IMG_0829

I saw three Black-crowned Night Herons throughout the walk ,

IMG_5665

A Northern Flicker nest,

IMG_5687

What would Central Park be without seeing a squirrel?

IMG_5694

A shy Carolina Wren,

IMG_5706

A pair of Mallards at the boat pond,

IMG_5710

A Double-crested Cormorant drying off at the Boat pond,

IMG_5724

I was only one foot away from this Mallard. That’s the beauty of Central Park — the birds are so used to people,

IMG_5741

I had an excellent time with the other birders, got some good photos, and saw some great species. Central Park is such a wonderful place, and Bob and Deb are great park guides!

Here we are at the end of our walk, with Bob and Debra on the right. Thank you again for such a wonderful time (and the only real birding I got in while in NYC)!

IMG_0842

Off to the Big Apple!

On the second week of July my family is taking a trip to New York City. Unfortunately, it’s not a pleasure trip (more of a “family business trip”) so birding is low on the list. I won’t have lots of time for birding, but I hope to see some new species and meet some New York birders. I’ve never birded in Central Park in the Summer (just in the Fall and Winter, and I know Spring and Fall are the best seasons), so I’m hoping to see something new. If I don’t, I’m sure a lot of the regulars will be great subjects to photograph!

I’m planning to go on one another one of Robert DeCandido and Deb Allen’s Central Park bird walks (I’ve been twice before), so if I do I’ll post on it. I would love to meet some NYC birders and go birding together.

I won’t have my laptop with me so I probably won’t be able to post while I’m there, but I’ll try to have some posts lined up before I leave.