Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year End Review

Another year has begun today, so it is time to look back on my birding year in 2015 as well as a wrap up on last year's big year efforts.  I would not say I birded extensively in 2015, but I did make my usual trip to Magee Marsh in early May, and spent 2 weeks in Alaska, mostly on St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs.  I also did some chasing that was highly successful.  Those chases are all recorded in last year's blog posts.  I was able to add 7 life birds (in chronological order: Eurasian kestrel, rustic bunting, bananaquit, black-faced grassquit, rufous-necked wood-rail (accepted in 2015 as a new ABA area species), jack snipe and variegated flycatcher.  This raised my ABA area life list total to 795.

I also saw a common scoter and a Pallas's rosefinch, which if accepted by the ABA, would both be first ABA area records (click on any photo to enlarge).

Turning to big year efforts in 2015, the only declared world big year was by Noah Strycker, who completed his world big year with the absolutely stunning total of 6042 species, which blew away the record of 4341 set in 2008 by Alan Davies and Ruth Miller.  And Noah wrote in his last blog post that Arjan Dwarshuis from Holland is aiming to break Noah's new record in 2016.

As far as ABA area big years, only Dan Gesualdo from Ohio established a blog to track his lower 48 states big year.  He was not able to bird full time, but he still ended the year with 678 species.  Other apparent big years included Brandon Reo's who did the full ABA area, and finished with over 700 species seen.  Based on his communications with Neil Hayward, his exact total is not clear because he had over 20 birds on his ebird list that are not countable as ABA birds.  Wendy and Mike Schackwitz finished their full ABA area birding year at 692 species based on their ebird list.

As for 2016, my friend Laura Keene is on Vancouver Island today beginning her full ABA area photographic big year.  She was able to see the ABA code 4 redwing yesterday, and hopefully will see it again today.  1 other birder has declared that in 2016 he is doing a full ABA area big year--Olaf Danielson.

My next birding adventure will be a 10 day trip in February to San Blas and the Durango Highway in Mexico.  I will be joined by 6 other birders who have birded with me often. Here's to a great year for birding in 2016.

No comments:

Post a Comment