As 2013 draws to a close I've been thinking a lot about the birding I've done over the past year, as I attempted to do my own version of "big year." I started out with the goal of seeing 300 species in Massachusetts, then shifted my geographic range to all of New England, since I knew I would be spending some time in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut as well. In the end I saw a total of 200 species for year, the vast majority in New England, but a good number in Israel as well. My final stats for the year were as follows:
Total species seen in New England: 179
Total species seen in Israel : 23
Total species seen (or heard) for the year: 200
New life birds added for North America: 57 (I also managed to begin my year with a new life bird on New Year's day with a group of Redhead ducks and end the year with another new bird, a Snowy Owl seen in Rhode Island)
One of the best things about this project was that it gave me a chance to meet some really great people in the birding community, see new places and learn more about bird life and general ecology. I spent many winter hours walking along the edges of semi-frozen ponds, sweltering days fighting mosquitoes and dehydration in forests and wetlands and had a tremendous amount of fun doing it all.
|At the Jerusalem Botanical Garden in Israel I cam across this Little Egret (a fairly common Eurasian bird closely resembling Snowy Egret) which was a nice addition to both my 2013 year list and my life list. Image copyright Daniel E.Levenson.|
|During my 2013 New England big year I had a chance to visit many beautiful beaches and coastal areas, from Rhode Island to Maine. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.|
So here's to a year of slow birding in 2014, and thanks for reading.
Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.