Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Longer List, But No Life

It's been far too long since I've blogged, but as the time gets longer so does my life list. I've had a range of fantastic sightings this spring, from more than 40 birds in Jamaica to a few new western birds on a press trip to Fallon, Nevada, to a common nighthawk sighting within feet of my backyard. My new lifers are...
  • American Redstart
  • Arrow-Headed Warbler
  • Bananaquit
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Black-Billed Streamertail
  • Black-Faced Grassquit
  • Black-Throated Blue Warbler
  • Black-Throated Gray Warbler
  • Black-Whiskered Vireo
  • Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
  • Cattle Egret
  • Chestnut-Bellied Cuckoo
  • Clark's Grebe
  • Common Ground-Dove
  • Common Nighthawk
  • Crested Quail-Dove
  • Gray Kingbird
  • Greater Antillean Bullfinch (pictured)
  • Greater Antillean Grackle
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Green Heron (pictured)
  • Harris's Sparrow
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Jamaican Becard
  • Jamaican Blackbird
  • Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo
  • Jamaican Mango
  • Jamaican Oriole
  • Jamaican Pewee
  • Jamaican Spindalis
  • Jamaican Tody
  • Jamaican Vireo
  • Jamaican Woodpecker
  • Loggerhead Kingbird
  • Northern Parula
  • Orangequit
  • Ovenbird
  • Red-Billed Streamertail
  • Ring-Tailed Pigeon
  • Rufous-Tailed Flycatcher
  • Rufous-Throated Solitaire
  • Sad Flycatcher
  • Smooth-Billed Ani (pictured)
  • Sora
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Vervain Hummingbird (pictured)
  • Western Wood-Pewee
  • White-Chinned Thrush
  • White-Collared Swift
  • White-Crowned Pigeon
  • White-Eyed Thrush
  • White-Winged Dove
  • Wilson's Warbler
  • Yellow-Billed Parrot
  • Zenaida Dove

That's quite a few new members of my life list flock, but it's been fun getting them all. Some were easy sightings that just needed a good look for verification, while others needed a long time studying swapping hands with a field guide and my binoculars. All are welcome, however, and I'm thrilled to be up to 230 on my life list -- more than 60 new birds since the beginning of the year.

Of course, without the trip to Jamaica I'd not have seen nearly as many; not only was I able to see more than 20 of the island's endemic species, but the trip was in the midst of spring migration and a lot of neotropical migrant warblers were around as well. The biggest lesson I learned from it (and there were many) is how richly diverse birds can be, if only you seek out something different that what you're accustomed to. You have to fly past your comfort zone, stretch your wings, and keep gaining height, but you can soar.

A good lesson for all birders, then, not just for listing, but for life. It's time I go get one.

1 comment:

FeliciaEvita said...

Wow that is quite a list.