Big Year (birders wake up)


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Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Mar 3, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
went by Wahsoe lake yesterday- saw 8 diferent species of divers, six species of puddlers, a host of shore birds and raptors with a few corvids taboot. In like ten minutes.

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 3, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
So here is my list. If there is any interest (probably even if not), I'll merge all the posted ones and do a combined STBY list. Like most of us, I've been "birding" my whole outdoor life (for me since the 60s, but this was the first time I counted and took notes for the whole year. And for me it was also a dairy of my shoulder recuperation from a 3way first rotator cuff surgery (a bike crash dee ee!). I tried really hard and really liked parts of it. I also kind of hated what it did to my birding at times, i.e. "oh I saw that already, move on". I learned, though, and March 1 2013(aka the day after it was over), I totally tripped looking at a Lincoln's Sparrow and saw it in a way I don't think I would have a year+ ago. The difference was mainly focus and concentration.

At the moment the top three were: a lone black swift in a cold grey afternoon, busting my butt to ride in 32F rain to a place where I knew there was a Snowy Owl, and stumbling on a Bohemian Waxwing around the corner from my house, but then I start thinking about other occasions and could go on an on.

Thanks y'all and especially Tony for the help. Also thanks to a local Seattle birder Connie Sidles. ps I think Tony underreported.

1. American Crow.
2. Song Sparrow.
3. Barrow's Goldeneye.
4. Great Blue Heron.
5. American Robin.
6. European Starling.
7. Wood Duck.
8. American Wigeon.
9. Green-winged Teal.
10. Pied-billed Grebe.
11. Mallard.
12. Bufflehead.
13. Northern Shoveler.
14. American Coot.
15. Black-capped Chickadee.
16. Double-crested Cormorant.
17. Killdeer.
18. Bewick's Wren.
19. House Sparrow.
20. Steller's Jay.
21. Bushtit.
22. House Finch.
23. Spotted Towhee.
24. Golden-crowned Sparrow.
25. Bald Eagle.
26. Dark-eyed Junco.
27. Gadwall.
28. Canada Goose.
29. Common Goldeneye.
30. Red-winged Blackbird.
31. Yellow-rumped Warbler.
32. Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
33. White-crowned Sparrow.
34. Glaucous-winged Gull.
35. Chestnut-backed Chickadee.
36. Northern Flicker.
37. Pine Siskin.
38. Eurasian Wigeon.
39. Ring-necked Duck.
40. Common Merganser.
41. Red-tailed Hawk.
42. Virginia Rail.
43. California Gull.
44. Mew Gull.
45. Violet-green Swallow.
46. Brown Creeper.
47. Downy Woodpecker.
48. Marsh Wren.
49. Tree Swallow.
50. Rock Pigeon.
51. Belted Kingfisher.
52. Surf Scoter.
53. Brant.
54. Red-necked Grebe.
55. Greater Scaup.
56. Lesser Scaup.
57. Lincoln's Sparrow.
58. Savannah Sparrow.
59. Cedar Waxwing.
60. Fox Sparrow.
61. Anna's Hummingbird.
62. Red-breasted Merganser.
63. Cooper's Hawk.
64. Barn Swallow.
65. Cliff Swallow.
66. Western Meadowlark.
67. Osprey.
68. Common Yellowthroat.
69. Golden-crowned Kinglet.
70. Barred Owl.
71. Pileated Woodpecker.
72. Cinnamon Teal.
73. Dunlin.
74. Hermit Thrush.
75. Pacific Wren.
76. Orange-crowned Warbler.
77. Wilson's Warbler.
78. Vaux's Swift.
79. Least Sandpiper.
80. Brewer's Blackbird.
81. Warbling Vireo.
82. Yellow Warbler.
83. Caspian Tern.
84. Horned Grebe.
85. Pigeon Guillemot.
86. Western Gull.
87. Townsend's Warbler.
88. Western Grebe.
89. Marbled Murrelet.
90. Western Tanager.
91. Pacific-slope Flycatcher.
92. Blue-winged Teal.
93. Pectoral Sandpiper.
94. Sharp-shinned Hawk.
95. Northern Rough-winged Swallow.
96. Black-headed Grosbeak.
97. Merlin.
98. Willow Flycatcher.
99. Black-throated Gray Warbler.
100. Swainson's Thrush.
101. Western Wood-Pewee.
102. Western Kingbird.
103. Black Swift.
104. California Quail.
105. Spotted Sandpiper.
106. Ruddy Duck.
107. Purple Martin.
108. Rufous Hummingbird.
109. Semipalmated Sandpiper.
110. Greater Yellowlegs.
111. Long-billed Dowitcher.
112. Peregrine Falcon.
113. Western Sandpiper.
114. Northern Pintail.
115. Green Heron.
116. Red-breasted Nuthatch.
117. Greater White-fronted Goose.
118. Northern Shrike.
119. Cackling Goose.
120. Wilson's Snipe.
121. Purple Finch.
122. Heermann's Gull.
123. Common Loon.
124. Northern Harrier.
125. Snowy Owl.
126. Snow Goose.
127. Trumpeter Swan.
128. Herring Gull.
129. Ring-billed Gull.
130. Bohemian Waxwing.
131. Varied Thrush.
132. Red Crossbill.
133. Black Turnstone.
134. Surfbird.
135. Pelagic Cormorant.
136. Canvasback.

Social climber
Mar 4, 2013 - 12:19am PT
No northwestern crow ?

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 4, 2013 - 07:33am PT
Good point Tami. I just didn't feel comfortable ID'ing them. I see flocks of Crows, and there appears to be two distinct size populations, but I just couldn't bring myself to claim them. Maybe photographs! Tony had the idea of finding a feathers on the ground and sending them in for genetic analysis. I've got to start climbing again!!!!
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Mar 4, 2013 - 08:59am PT
I hit ~80
but kinda gave up last spring when it was cramping my only day for a real workout,
no more slowing down and stopping during my road rides, damn the birds, I've seen them all 1000 times before

I just don't have the passion for birding like I did 20 years ago, when they were all new check offs.

But apparently, I'm still 4th on the board, so I will pat myself on the back

Tony, Darwin and DE EE, Good job!

Mar 4, 2013 - 09:49am PT
You guys are awesome.
Thanks for letting us hike/ride along - vicarious birding!

dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Mar 4, 2013 - 09:49am PT
Nice y'all!
Darwin, I would be interested in our total.

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 4, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
Dave(right dee ee?) and Tony;

Between the three of us, a'hem who posted, I get 228 birds. I would like to go over my merging script a little more before "publishing". And maybe some others will contribute. We're all on the West Coast, and I sure would like to hear form those, oh say, in Colorado, gee who could that be?, or Arizona or New Mexico or, a'hem a'hem, the Gulf of East Coast. You know you look out your window and see something we'all out here don't see, like a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, a Roseate Spoonbill, or even a Cardinal.

(edit): One can only ponder what wonders lie out on the Kenai.

I was looking for a Red-headed Duck the last day of the stby but missed it even though it was only 200 yards from my place of work. But it stuck around, and I saw it yesterday and today. It insisted on staying right in line with the sun, but nonetheless here are some photos.
They really do dive that way.

Credit: Darwin

Credit: Darwin


Social climber
Mar 4, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
Darwin - I can't tell 'em apart either . My 90 year old mother can. Sheesh.

We are Fans of The Crow here - we feed the buggers cheap kitty vittles. The murder congregates on our roof ( along with some glaucous wing gulls - sky rats !!! ) in anticipation of the 1100hrs feed. Sometimes a great black cloud descends. It scares the beezelbub right outta the high school students across the road. Guffaw.

One of my favorite clear-day sunset sights in Vancouver is the daily fly-out of the crow population of Vancouver to Burnaby Lake. They seem to follow first avenue and Hwy 1 as they , in that inarticulate crow manner, make their way to the night-time hang.

Fascinating birds, the crow !!!!

Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Mar 4, 2013 - 09:54pm PT
My list would be a lot bigger if I wasn't so lazy. Probably could have added 50 more within 5 or 6 miles on certain days. I've even been too lazy to tally until now....

Chico area birds for the lazy man

1 Red Tailed Hawk
2 Red Shouldered Hawk
3 Am Kestrel
4 Turkey Vulture
5 Peregrine Falcon
6 GH Owl
7 Barn Owl
8 W Screech Owl
9 Coopers Hawk
10 Sharp shinned
11 Anna's Hum
12 Nutall's woodpecker
13 Acorn W
14 Hairy
15 Downy
16 Red Br Sapsucker
17 N Flicker
18 Black phoebe
19 Say's phoebe
20 Tree Swallow
21 violet green sw
22 rough winged sw
23 am crow
24 raven
25 scrub jay
26 oak titmouse
27 bushtit
28 WB nuthatch
29 RB nuthatch
30 House wren
31 Bewick's wren
32 Rock Wren
33 RC kinglet
34 Hutton's vireo
35 Golden Eagle
36 Am Robin
37 Starling
38 Cedar waxwing
39 YR warbler
40 OC warbler
41 song sparrow
42 fox sparrow
43 golden crowned sparrow
44 wht crowned sparrow
45 DE junco
46 Am goldfinch
47 lesser GF
48 B kingfisher
49 Gr egret
50 pied billed grebe
51 purple finch
52 mallard
53 Am wigeon
54 snow goose
55 wht fronted goose
56 sandhill crane
57 Bullock's oriole
58 wood duck
59 black headed grosbeak
60 ash throated flycatcher
61 varied thrush
62 w bluebird
63 mt bluebird
64 Gr blue heron
65 EC Dove
66 rock pigeon
67 mourning dove
68 cal quail
69 phainopepla
70 yellow br chat
71 wht tailed kite
72 pine siskin
73 n mockingbird
74 wild turkey
75 brewer's blackbird
76 red winged balckbird
77spotted towhee
78 cal towhee
79 hse sparrow
80 killdeer
81 w kingbird
82 N harrier
83 cal gull
84 ring billed gull
85 com merganser
86 w meadowlark
87 lark sparrow
88 ferrugenous hawk
89 hse finch

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 4, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
w.r.t Ferruginous Hawk, I think that's a first for the list. Oh and, Golden Eagle. I didn't go through the rest.

Do you call them South-West Crows? ;-) Maybe a better name would be Salish Sea Crows.
We have a big fly by for crows going to their roosts here in the U District. Sometimes it's transcendental, other times I have to admit that it gives me the willies. Did you get a beautiful but a little cold and breezy day up there in Vancouver today? We had one of the nicest days of the winter here.

Mar 5, 2013 - 04:23am PT
Fascinating birds, the crow !!!!

Anyone who likes crows and knows what a murder is

is pretty okay in my book.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 5, 2013 - 06:57am PT

Hurray for Corvidae!!!!

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 25, 2013 - 08:16am PT

Hang with me. This does turn around to being entirely on topic.
I was down in the Bay Area visiting family and friends. We had a tentative trip to Parkline Slabs planned, but what with the short days and just perhaps a glass too many of red wine, we bailed to the Berkeley climbing gym Ironworks. I usually have a hard time with climbing gyms (not fun and too difficult), but I had a blast this time.

Tony, being,the super birder that he is, had heard that there was a Painted Redstart nearby in Berkeley, and we headed up to look for it. After a little search we came upon other birders that led us to the tree with the Redstart. The day had great light, and we had great views of it for as long as we stuck around. Also as we walked up, I notice a fairly heavily loaded touring bike and I immediately looked around trying to figure out who was the birding biker. The biker introduced himself first as Mark Kudrav, and he is on a green (bicycle only) big year. He threw himself into it a WHOLE LOT more than any of us did at least w.r.t time an bike miles invested. I'm not providing the spoilers of his distance covered and #birds, but it's impressive. Check out his blog

He seemed like a really nice guy.

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 25, 2013 - 09:05pm PT


And another friend saw the Redstart today. 2013/11/25

Trad climber
Nov 25, 2013 - 10:09pm PT
Me too!

Three days ago, in the rain.
Spinning front & back like a weathervane.

Any chance you might know what that Oak was
it was in. The only cones I could find were
really really tiny...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 26, 2013 - 03:42am PT

Filmed on the 23rd Nov.
This is murder, keeping track of what the local crow gangs are doing.
Last evening, only two days after this aerial melee, I was standing on the corner opposite the park, had my tripod and camera ready and waiting, but saw not one crow!

I saw my son, Scottie, though, come walking up through the murky twilight, and he was taking my picture with his phone!

What I think is happening here with the crows is that their evening roosts vary between the park and some other spots in the city, nearby, but not right there. I have seen them off in the northwest from the Tioga, as well as to the north, and they pull off an aerial gang fight every so often, like the one I filmed from my window.

I don't understand, simply, how they get to be so "choosy"--if that's the word--but it may not be a choice. It may be that there is a good reason they move around, or maybe not.

To meld with the mind of a crow, or the collective crow mind, would be an experience, since they live so long. I'll have to talk to Don Juan abut this.

Here is another tuber on crows, more like what I wanted last night.

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Nov 26, 2013 - 04:32am PT
Crow's--one of the most intelligent of all animals.
Messages 341 - 358 of total 358 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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