This year in a nutshell

What a difference a year makes.

My beginning birder self on day 1

My beginning birder self on day 1

Looking back at what I’d initially hoped to get out of birding: nature, awareness, education, patience, and pictures– I think I’ve accomplished that.

Since my first trip last Christmas I’ve gone on more than 80 birding trips. I have visited six states- Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Montana, and Florida. And after today’s Northern Shrike sighting, I have seen 231 bird species. In Florida alone I saw 60 species! Of course this birding thing is way more than a numbers game. It’s a lifestyle.

Lego Birding Audrey and Lego Outdoorsy Tomas

Lego Birding Audrey and Lego Outdoorsy Tomas

Over the past year, I had hoped to see owls, Cedar Waxwings, migrating birds, and Puffins. Yep, saw those too.

Horned Puffin

Horned Puffin

Some of my favorite trips:

Remember when I mentioned listing? It turns out that was wishful blogging and I didn’t do it. Until now. I’ve spent hours this week entering my trips in eBird. So far, I’ve entered 65 checklists totaling 202 species. With more to come. The more checklists I enter, the more interesting the data becomes.

List

It won’t be perfect, there may be discrepancies. I know I’ve seen more than the 231 species on my list, a few shorebirds here and there that I still can’t I.D. confidently, and I wasn’t coherent for much of the pelagic trip, but I’d like to include birds on my list that I could pick out of a line-up. I’ll keep trying. And keep listing.

And so it goes. If it’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it is to keep trying. Just when I think I know a species, it molts into something entirely different. But that’s okay, because if it were easy it would be boring. I’ve learned birding takes time, practice, and patience. As does learning anything new. It’s okay to jump in and try. And make mistakes. And try again.

I still feel like a beginner, but I have learned a few things along the way. Going back over photos I surprised myself and recognized a Lincoln Sparrow I originally filed away as a Song Sparrow. I notice more details and field marks now, and I pay more attention to season and habitat. Can I tell the difference between first-year and second-year gulls? There’s a small chance thanks to Gull Class. Can I tell the difference between House, Purple, and Cassin’s Finch? Not yet, but I’m working on it. And that’s the goal: keep working on it.

You are a Lincoln Sparrow

You are a Lincoln Sparrow

I have a few things lined up already that I’m looking forward to in 2016. I’m partaking in the 116th Christmas Count with Audubon in January, I’m taking Advanced Waterfowl I.D. class in February, and I’ve registered for Godwit Days in Arcata this spring where I’ll bird with David Sibley. That’s right. Birding with Sibley himself. Woooooooooooo! Pretty excited about that one. Lots more to come. I’m excited for more discovery!

Happy Birdiversary to me.

Tweets and chirps,

Audrey

Bird Checklist; species so far: 264!

This list includes 534 species of birds that have occurred in Oregon, as of December 2014. Over the next year, I’ll mark the birds green that I’ve seen or heard. I’m using this list as a guide as I will also include birds I see in the surrounding Pacific Northwest. List source: John Rakestraw’s blog.
(I) = Introduced (E) = Extirpated
Species marked with an asterisk (*) are review species. Please report sightings to <hnehls6@comcast.net>

WHISTLING-DUCKS
* Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
* Fulvous Whistling-Duck
 
GEESE, SWANS, DUCKS
* Tundra Bean-Goose
Greater White-fronted Goose
Emperor Goose
Snow Goose
Ross’s Goose
Brant
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan
Tundra Swan
* Whooper Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
* Falcated Duck
Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon
* American Black Duck
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
* Garganey
* Baikal Teal
* Eurasian Teal
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Tufted Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
* Steller’s Eider
* King Eider
* Common Eider
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Barrow’s Goldeneye
* Smew
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck

GROUSE, TURKEY, QUAIL
Mountain Quail
California Quail
Northern Bobwhite (I) (E)
Chukar (I)
Gray Partridge (I)
Ring-necked Pheasant (I)
Ruffed Grouse
Greater Sage-Grouse
Spruce Grouse
Dusky Grouse
Sooty Grouse
* Sharp-tailed Grouse (E)
Wild Turkey (I)

HAWKS, KITES, EAGLES
Osprey
White-tailed Kite
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Northern Goshawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Swainson’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Golden Eagle

RAILS, GALLINULES, CRANES
Yellow Rail
Virginia Rail
Sora
* Common Gallinule
American Coot
Sandhill Crane

SHOREBIRDS
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Black Oystercatcher
Black-bellied Plover
American Golden-Plover
Pacific Golden-Plover
* Lesser Sand-Plover
Snowy Plover
* Wilson’s Plover
Semipalmated Plover
* Piping Plover
Killdeer
* Mountain Plover
* Eurasian Dotterel
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Wandering Tattler
* Spotted Redshank
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Lesser Yellowlegs
* Wood Sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper
Whimbrel
* Bristle-thighed Curlew
Long-billed Curlew
* Hudsonian Godwit
* Bar-tailed Godwit
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Black Turnstone
* Great Knot
Red Knot
Surfbird
Ruff
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
* Curlew Sandpiper
* Long-toed Stint
* Red-necked Stint
Sanderling
Dunlin
Rock Sandpiper
Baird’s Sandpiper
* Little Stint
Least Sandpiper
*White-rumped Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
* Jack Snipe
Wilson’s Snipe
Wilson’s Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope
Red Phalarope

NIGHTJARS
* Lesser Nighthawk
Common Nighthawk
Common Poorwill
* Eastern Whip-poor-will

SWIFTS
Black Swift
* Chimney Swift
Vaux’s Swift
White-throated Swift

HUMMINGBIRDS
* Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird
Costa’s Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird
* Broad-billed Hummingbird

KINGFISHERS
Belted Kingfisher

THRUSHES
* Northern Wheatear
Western Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend’s Solitaire
Veery
* Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush
* Wood Thrush
American Robin
Varied Thrush

THRASHERS
Gray Catbird
* Curve-billed Thrasher
* Brown Thrasher
* California Thrasher
Sage Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird

STARLINGS
European Starling (I)

WAGTAILS, PIPITS
* Eastern Yellow Wagtail
* White Wagtail
* Red-throated Pipit
American Pipit
* Sprague’s Pipit

WAXWINGS
Bohemian Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing

SILKY-FLYCATCHERS
* Phainopepla

LONGSPURS, SNOW BUNTINGS
Lapland Longspur
Chestnut-collared Longspur
* Smith’s Longspur
* McCown’s Longspur
Snow Bunting
* McKay’s Bunting

ALBATROSSES
* White-capped Albatross
* Wandering Albatross
Laysan Albatross
Black-footed Albatross
* Short-tailed Albatross
 
PETRELS, SHEARWATERS
Northern Fulmar
Murphy’s Petrel
Mottled Petrel
* Juan Fernandez Petrel
* Hawaiian Petrel
* Cook’s Petrel
* Streaked Shearwater
Pink-footed Shearwater
Flesh-footed Shearwater
* Great Shearwater
* Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Buller’s Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Short-tailed Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
* Black-vented Shearwater

SKUAS, JAEGERS
South Polar Skua
Pomarine Jaeger
Parasitic Jaeger
Long-tailed Jaeger

ALCIDS
Common Murre
* Thick-billed Murre
Pigeon Guillemot
* Long-billed Murrelet
Marbled Murrelet
Scripp’s Murrelet
* Guadalupe Murrelet
Ancient Murrelet
Cassin’s Auklet
Parakeet Auklet
Rhinoceros Auklet
Horned Puffin
Tufted Puffin

GULLS
Black-legged Kittiwake
* Red-legged Kittiwake
Sabine’s Gull
Bonaparte’s Gull
* Black-headed Gull
* Little Gull
* Ross’s Gull
* Laughing Gull
Franklin’s Gull
Heermann’s Gull
Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Thayer’s Gull
* Iceland Gull
* Lesser Black-backed Gull
* Slaty-backed Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull

WOODPECKERS
Lewis’s Woodpecker
* Red-headed Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker
* Red-bellied Woodpecker
Williamson’s Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Red-naped Sapsucker
Red-breasted Sapsucker
* Nuttall’s Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
White-headed Woodpecker
Am. Three-toed Woodpecker
Black-backed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker

FALCONS
* Crested Caracara
American Kestrel
Merlin
Gyrfalcon
Peregrine Falcon
Prairie Falcon

FLYCATCHERS
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Wood-Pewee
* Eastern Wood-Pewee
* Alder Flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
* Eastern Phoebe
Say’s Phoebe
* Vermilion Flycatcher
* Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
* Cassin’s Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
* Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
* Fork-tailed Flycatcher

WARBLERS
Ovenbird
* Worm-eating Warbler
* Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
* Golden-winged Warbler
* Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
* Prothonotary Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
* Lucy’s Warbler
Nashville Warbler
* Virginia’s Warbler
MacGillivray’s Warbler
* Mourning Warbler
* Kentucky Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
* Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
* Cape May Warbler
Northern Parula
* Magnolia Warbler
* Bay-breasted Warbler
* Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
* Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
* Yellow-throated Warbler
* Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler
Hermit Warbler
* Black-throated Green Warbler
* Canada Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
* Painted Redstart
Yellow-breasted Chat

SPARROWS
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee
* Eastern Towhee
California Towhee
* Cassin’s Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Brewer’s Sparrow
* Black-chinned Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Black-throated Sparrow
Sagebrush Sparrow
* Lark Bunting
Savannah Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
* LeConte’s Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Harris’s Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
* Little Bunting
* Rustic Bunting

LOONS, GREBES
Red-throated Loon
* Arctic Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Yellow-billed Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark’s Grebe
 
STORM-PETRELS
* Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
* Ringed Storm Petrel
Leach’s Storm-Petrel
* Ashy Storm-Petrel
* Black Storm-Petrel

TROPICBIRDS
*Red-billed Tropicbird

FRIGATEBIRDS
* Magnificent Frigatebird

BOOBIES, CORMORANTS
* Masked Booby
* Blue-footed Booby
* Brown Booby
Brandt’s Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant

PELICANS
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican

HERONS
American Bittern
Least Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
* Little Blue Heron
* Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
* Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

IBISES
* White Ibis
* Glossy Ibis
White-faced Ibis

VULTURES
Turkey Vulture
* California Condor (E)

TERNS
* Least Tern
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Common Tern
Arctic Tern
Forster’s Tern
Elegant Tern
* Black Skimmer

PIGEONS, DOVES
Rock Pigeon (I)
Band-tailed Pigeon
Eurasian Collared Dove
* Common Ground-Dove
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove

CUCKOOS
* Yellow-billed Cuckoo
* Greater Roadrunner

OWLS
Barn Owl
Flammulated Owl
Western Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Snowy Owl
* Northern Hawk Owl
Northern Pygmy-Owl
Burrowing Owl
Spotted Owl
Barred Owl
Great Gray Owl
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Boreal Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl

SHRIKES
Loggerhead Shrike
Northern Shrike

VIREOS
* White-eyed Vireo
* Bell’s Vireo
* Yellow-throated Vireo
* Plumbeous Vireo
Cassin’s Vireo
* Blue-headed Vireo
Hutton’s Vireo
Warbling Vireo
* Philadelphia Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo

CORVIDS
Gray Jay
Pinyon Jay
Steller’s Jay
Blue Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
Clark’s Nutcracker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven

LARKS
Horned Lark

SWALLOWS
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow

CHICKADEES, TITMICE
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Juniper Titmouse

BUSHTITS
Bushtit

NUTHATCHES, CREEPER
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch
Brown Creeper

WRENS
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
House Wren
Pacific Wren
* Sedge Wren
Marsh Wren
Bewick’s Wren

GNATCATCHERS
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

DIPPER
American Dipper

KINGLETS
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

WRENTIT
Wrentit

GROSBEAKS, BUNTINGS
* Summer Tanager
* Scarlet Tanager
Western Tanager
* Pyrrhuloxia
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak
* Blue Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
* Indigo Bunting
* Painted Bunting
* Dickcissel

BLACKBIRDS, ORIOLES
Bobolink
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
* Rusty Blackbird
Brewer’s Blackbird
* Common Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
* Orchard Oriole
Hooded Oriole
* Streak-backed Oriole
Bullock’s Oriole
* Baltimore Oriole
* Scott’s Oriole

FINCHES
* Brambling
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
Black Rosy-Finch
Pine Grosbeak
House Finch
Purple Finch
Cassin’s Finch
Red Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill
Common Redpoll
* Hoary Redpoll
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
* Lawrence’s Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
Evening Grosbeak

OLD WORLD SPARROWS
House Sparrow (I)