Birding 2008 a Review

Well another year has come to an end, another year of birding and at 12:00am on January 1, 2009, while most people may be celebrating the new year, I will be somewhat subdued as I watch my year to date totals on E-bird  revert to 0.

Still a new year means every bird is new, all the more reason to head back on out!

For 2008, the year started off quiet, with Pine Grosbeaks  about.  In February Corey over at 10,000 Birds  moved from Albany to Queens, which lead to the loss of my regular birding partner.

In early April during a family trip to Florida, I was able to sneak some good birding in, getting many life birds the best of which was Reddish Egret, American Swallow Tailed Kite and the endangered Snail Kite!

Corey and I joined forces again in May and had our best Century Run ever!

The summer went by slow, there were no breeding bird surveys to do and I didn’t know anyone Cris-crossing the state in search of 300 species.

In August I was invited to be on The Butcher Birders, the Muckrace team sponsored by 10,000 Birds, but I was rusty and had to start birding again, this also happened to be the time I rediscovered E-bird.

In September The Butcher Birders  struggled but finished with a respectable total and I don’t think any of us will forget Jory’s Crane Dance.

October and November were busy with work and Sophia’s soccer games, but I still found some time to do some birding.  After Thanksgiving, I met up with Corey again and perhaps had the ‘bird moment of the year’ when we watched a young Northern Shrike chase an Eastern Bluebird for a good five minutes.

December of course brought the Ice Storm and Christmas Bird Counts, to which I was on the Albany County, Catskill-Coxsackie  and Southern Rensselaer CountyCBC’s.  I was also to do the Saratoga Count, but the weather and concerns about my daughters health prevented me from being on it (next year!!!).

The CBC’s I’ve done, if you have been following recently have had their share of good birds, including the 1st count record of Baltimore Oriole on the Catskill-Coxsackie Count and Iceland Gull and Merlin on the Southern Renssealer Count.

So what does 2009 hold?  Well only time will tell, but don’t be surprised if you find me out at 12:01 am trying to whistle up a Eastern Screech Owl!  Remember you can’t see birds if your not out birding!

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