Friday, December 13, 2013

December birding in Rhode Island brings my list to 200 species for the year

A group of birders scans the waves for Surf Scoters, harlequin Ducks and other visitors to the Rhode Island coast in winter. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.
Back in January I began a quest to complete my own version a birding big year, with a focus on Massachusetts. My original goal was to find 300 species of birds in Massachusetts, but over the course of 2013 my focus shifted a little, first to include all of New England. This was a really great project and I feel like it taught me a lot about bird ID, where to find birds, and gave me a glimpse into larger patterns of migration and the ways that birds interact with their environment. Although there are still two weeks left in the year and I may add another species or two to the list if I'm lucky, I have to say I'm pretty happy to have seen 179 species in New England, and another 21 species in Israel, for a total count of 200 species for the year.

During a recent outing to Rhode Island with Mass Audubon's Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, I added the most recent 5 species which brought my year list to 200, all of which also happened to be life birds, which was really exciting. During this outing I added a Purple Sandpiper feeding in the surf along a rocky outcropping, a Ruddy Turnstone along the beach, a beautfiul Snowy Owl perched atop a huge beach-side rock, a White-crowned Sparrow feeding in brush along a trail and several Black Scoters just off of the beaches near Newport. In the next two weeks I'm looking forward to getting out a little more, but for now I have to say I'm pretty happy to have reached 200 species for the year.

I'm looking forward to getting outdoors as often as I can in 2014, and hopefully exploring some new areas in New England other parts of the country.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.

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