Birder's Eye View

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A growing list

With three days left in California, today I tallied up both my trip list and my overall year list so far.

If you've been following the blog for a long time, you'll probably know that every year I try to get my year list to at least 150, and every year I fall just short. My first year of birding in 2007, I ended with 123 birds (that was with a trip to Maine). In 2008, my total dropped to 104 -- understandable, as that was my first year in college. Last year I came close, and ended with 141, partly thanks to a trip to the Great Plains.

So it's now the middle of 2010 and I wanted to see how close I am to reaching my annual goal. The answer? I've surpassed it! My year list so far is at 152. Granted, that's counting the birds I saw overseas as well as here in California, but hey, I made it! And it's only July!

I feel kind of silly getting all excited over a meager number like 152. But for me, it's not so meager considering I've actually spent very little time bird watching in between school, traveling, and various other unforeseen circumstances that have occurred in the last few months.

The fact that I've seen 152 birds in my spare time is reassuring to me. Birds will always be there for me to count, to study, to admire, to appreciate, and to enjoy. Part of me wants to be one of those Big Year birders, racking up hundreds of species and learning them all by heart. But the other part of me knows that it's not practical in my life, for the other things I want to do and accomplish.

And that's the ultimate beauty of birding, I think. It can be as much, or as little a part of your life as you make it. Birding gives me something to do, a way to focus my energy when I need it. It's something familiar that I can do almost anywhere. And I love it.

So here's to another five months of successful and happy birding!

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  • So you did finally get to see Heerman's Gulls. excellent!
    There's a couple suspect Glaucous-wingeds in there but nothing definite without a closer look......

    150 for the year eh? Come on up here in the spring sometime and we'll get you 150 in 3 days..... ;)

    By Blogger Chris W, At August 1, 2010 at 12:20 PM  

  • oh and btw, interesting to see a winter plumage Avocet already....

    By Blogger Chris W, At August 1, 2010 at 12:23 PM  

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