This year is off to a great start! (Part 1 of 2)

Happy New Year!

In addition to a life list, a comprehensive list of every bird that you have seen over the course of your life, many birders keep other lists too.  An example would be a state list, or all of the birds you have seen in a particular state, or yard list for all of the birds you see in your backyard.

But you can also keep a year list and see how many different species of bird you see in a 365 day period.  This makes you appreciate some of your common birds and really love it when you get an early rarity.

This year has started off with a bang!  I recently joked with a fellow birder that in the first few days of 2013 I had already tallied a Peregrine Falcon (Maine Endangered Species) and a Barrow’s Goldeneye (Maine Threatened,) but that I hadn’t seen a Cardinal.  Having three Great Cormorants on the stretch of river where I work was a treat also, because while there are some places that I can go to see them, I’ve never been this close to them.

A Peregrine Falcon is a 16″ bird.  A Great Cormorant is a 36″ bird.  Typically the Peregrine goes after Pigeons in my neck of the woods, but they also go after ducks, songbirds, shorebirds etc.  I never thought I would see a Peregrine chase after a Great Cormorant, but while I was photographing the cormorants I could see they were becoming agitated.  Then I saw the Peregrine appear overhead.  A cormorant flew into the river and the Peregrine gave chase…

On Saturday I went birding in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth.  I observed some White-Winged Gulls with my friend Ron and also some rare ducks (for this time of year.)  I’ll share some of those images in the next post.


4 thoughts on “This year is off to a great start! (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Wonderful photos, Chuck. I miss all those beautiful waterfowl! I remember the thrill of seeing the Barrow’s in the river through my window. That was funny about the Peregrine. I wonder what he’d have done if he’d made contact with that Great Cormorant!

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