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.