Monday, January 5, 2015

The 2014 wrap up post

Roadside Hawk, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 24, 2014
Brown Violetear, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 22, 2014
Black bellied Whistling Duck, Green Cay Wetlands, Boynton Beach, FL, Dec 6, 2014
Black cheeked Woodpecker, Chilamate, Costa Rica, Mar 27, 2014
White Pelican, Merritt Island NWR, FL, Jan 19, 2014
Time once again for the end of the year wrap up for 2014.  Another productive year of birding both close to home and far afield.  I ended the year with 602 species overall with 93 of those being life birds bringing my life list total up to 911.  Trips away from my typical spots out here in western Massachusetts included two trips to Costa Rica (one in April and another in December), two trips to Florida (January and December) plus a few short trips to various parts of New England. Costa Rica was spectacular once again and even with these two trips being my fifth and sixth trips down there in the last few years, I still managed to add 91 life birds there this year (always helps to go to a bird rich country!)
Pink footed Goose, Old Pilgram Airport, Hatfield, MA, Mar 23, 2014 (a 1st Hampshire County record)
Snowy Owl, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Nov 30, 2014 (the bird that set my all time Hampshire County record)
Little Blue Heron, Connecticut River, Hadley, MA, Aug 12, 2014
Lark Sparrow, Honey Pot, Hadley, Nov 28, 2014
Red necked Phalarope, Quabbin Park, May 24, 2014 (a typical distant Quabbin bird!)
Nelson's Sparrow, Arcadia, Northampton, MA, Oct 13, 2014
Although I didn’t have intentions of doing another big county year in Hampshire County this year the species just started adding up early on with lots of unusual stuff so I just had to give it another try to beat my record of 236 set last year.  I managed to break the record ending the year with 237 species seen in Hampshire County with once again a Snowy Owl being the final new species seen for the year in the county.  I suppose with a good irruption year of northern species, a tropical system and a whole lot of luck 240 is possible but not sure when I will try to reach that goal…not next year I promise (unless the good stuff starts rolling in again!).  Lots of highlights this year including five new species for my overall Hampshire County list which now stands at 283 (my goal is to crack 300 for Hampshire County at some point but that will be very difficult!)  The five new species for me in the county include Pink footed Goose (a 1st Hampshire County record ever) found on the Hatfield/Whately line, a Red necked Phalarope at Goodnough Dike at Quabbin, a Mississippi Kite that flew by in Belchertown, a Blue Grosbeak at Arcadia and a Lark Sparrow at the Honey Pot.  Also got a fair number of species this year I have only had once before in the county (such as Little Blue Heron, Upland Sandpiper, Caspian Tern, Snowy Owl, Yellow breasted Chat, Nelson’s Sparrow and Yellow headed Blackbird).  It is always amazing to see all the different species that you can find with a little effort (or perhaps a lot of effort!)

Peregrine Falcon, Honey Pot, Hadley, Mar 7, 2014

Hooded Mergansers eggs in nest box, Belchertown, MA, May 5, 2014

Northern Parula, Quabbin Park, May 7, 2014
Bay breasted Warbler, Belchertown, MA, May 14, 2014 (one of three males in yard at same time!)
I once again participated in several bird surveys over the course of the year including Eastern Whip Poor Will surveys (one from Quabbin Park south to Palmer and the other on the Prescott Peninsula), field bird surveys on Prescott Peninsula, a Breeding Bird Survey route from Belchertown down to the Connecticut line, the Christmas Bird Count, a few other bird surveys and of course, eBird.  Toward the end of the year I was made the eBird reviewer for the three CT river valley counties of Massachusetts (Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden).  I also passed the 15,000 eBird checklist point late in the year, which is just crazy!  It was a really good year for migrants with 30 species of warblers in the county this spring plus three more species in the fall.  The yard was once again quite productive with the big oaks attracting some good stuff.

Next year promises more good stuff with trips already planned back to Costa Rica, Florida and who know where else.

No comments:

Post a Comment