I will use this blog to track my birding life list and update it with the highlights by year (most current first). Starting in 2013, I will list each new bird, the date and where. the Title of the Blog will always show my bird life list total.
I got my first DSLR camera for Christmas in 2007 (a Nikon DX40 with a 200mm telephoto lens). Just before our September 2010 trip to Wyoming and South Dakota, the telephoto lens started acting up, so one week before we left, I upgraded to a Nikon D300S with a 300mm Zoom lens. This camera even takes video!
My list, my rules, which means I have to get a picture (at least a documentary picture enough to tell it's that bird) before I can count it. Makes it a little more difficult, but it's more fun and it helps my photography skills :)
2014 - Our second camping trip from January to March (8 weeks) to LA and Western Texas (14 days @ Big Bend National Park). This trip was Festus' first and he was a great traveling dog (except for the windshield wipers - he would dive under the seat for a long time if he saw them...probably thought they would hit him :( ). We visited the Davis Mountains State Park and David made 2 attempts to parachute out of a plane, but both times weather would not permit it. We had cold weather and 2 ICE STORMS! I flew home to rescue Sally, but was unsuccessful. My good friend Rita and her husband set a trap and caught her and my daughter took her home, where neighbors took care of her until we returned.
2013 - January first camping vacation in the Lower Rio Grande (Alamo, TX) – goal 50, got 62!!
2012 - 68 new birds! David, me, Mom and Dad Potts took our third (and last) 17-day vacation together to Utah, Arizona and New Mexico! Thisi was a post-retirement, pre-knee replacement for me trip! They got to count California too because we went on a day drive for that purpose! Mom got to see lots of new birds too. We stayed at Kubo (recommended by best friend Rita M) for 4 days...David thought it was a dump, but we saw hummingbirds at the feeder! We saw 5 new hummingbirds in AZ. David was sick while we were gone (almost came home) and so he went to see the oncologist because he had lumps in his neck again. After seeing a new Dr. and another surgery, he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and right after my new knee was put in, he began 6 months of chemo. We focused on God and just getting through the day. God directed our paths to Abundant Life Ministry in Temperance, MI at the end of April and we plan to stay! No trips this year, not even to see relatives. I ventured to Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo to bird and my favorite new birds were Common Redpoll and White Crossbill! I took my second pelagic trip with Rita and Fern and new birds were Sabine's Gull and Franklin's Gull! During Biggest Week in American Birding, I Facebooked about a Sora at Metzger Marsh and people started coming there like crazy. I also said on FB that I heard a Virginia Rail (did not see it) and was thinking people probably thought I didn't know what I was hearing, but then the Virginia Rail showed up (new bird for me with a picture!)
2011 - 39 new birds! This year was my final year working for the Government so I saved my annual leave (no vacations) so I could get paid for it in 2012! my goal I set for fun this year was 50, so I was a bit short...oh well. I rescued Eastern Screech Owl "Pottsie" on the way to Vermillion, OH for Jen Brumfield's pelagic trip and took him to "Back to the Wild rehabilitation". I took my first Pelagic trip on Lake Erie and saw 3 new birds (Horned Grebe, Parasitic Jaeger and Pomerine Jaeger)! I loved it and wasn't seasick on Lake Erie at all. Best other birds were the Barred Owl that I spotted at Oak Openings and the Great Gray Owl in Canada the day after Christmas with my non-bird-watching friend Janette.
2010 - 50 new birds! David, me, Mom and Dad Potts took our second vacation together to Wyoming (Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park) for 12 days. We were still working!
2009 - 88 new birds! We didn't take any trips in 2009, but I did take a lot of day trips to the refuges and also started volunteering at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory's Navarre Marsh, OH banding program. I saw 17 new species of Warblers and 5 new species of Vireos!
2008 and before - 48 birds! David, me, Mom and Dad Potts took our first vacation together to the Upper Penninsula of Michigan for 5 days. I rented a cabin on Lake Superior in the Keweenaw Penninsula and we had so much fun going different places and looking for new birds, bugs, etc. We drove through Seney National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) at my husband's desire to please me :) and I saw my first warbler, an American Redstart Male. I was hooked and found the nearest refuges to our house in Ohio and MI and began visiting them. 2008 includes all the normal yard birds you always see, plus I saw 12 total warbler species in 2008.