This year has been a great learning year for me. Even though, I saw less new birds, I had a better opportunity to spend time observing and gaining experience, as well as building a greater familiarity with the more common birds of Newfoundland.
During the year, I added 19 new birds to my Newfoundland Bird List, ending with a yearly list of 187. This was 12 species less than 2011. It seemed birds were more scarce this year. My NL Life list now stands at 234, growing slowly but steadily. All of these sightings occurred because of a combination of luck, and the great reporting and sharing of other birders, and hours put in to make it happen.
There were some other new birds added to my list this year including the Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-headed Blackbird, House Wren (shown above found by Anne Hughes), Gray-cheeked Thrush, Yellow-breasted Chat (shown below), Blue-headed Vireo and Black Scoter. All told, I saw nineteen new species this year, making for a very exciting year.
Of course, there were the birds I pursued with no success: I went in search (multiple attempts) of the Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Royal Tern, White-winged Dove, Canada Warbler and the American White Pelican. I was within feet of seeing my first Gray Catbird, but I missed that one, too. That's okay, because I will continue to be out there looking again in 2013 and will certainly aim to see more new birds throughout the year. There are many more birds on the Newfoundland Bird List that I haven't seen. It may be time to take a trip to the West Coast to see what other new birds I can view. In addition, I may need to spend a little more time on the Southern Shore in the year to come.
My second-to last new bird of the year was this great American Tree Sparrow that I found during the Christmas Bird Count. What a big surprise!
My last new bird for the year turned out to be a rare warbler, the Townsend's Warbler. Since warblers are my favorite group of birds, this was a very special way to end my year.
As exciting as this year has been, my thoughts of the twelve months that lie ahead are even more exciting. There are still twelve more warblers on the NL Checklist that I haven't seen, not to mention so many other birds in other classifications.
I would like to thank the more than 13,000 unique visitors who have popped into my site this year. It has been a joy to share the experience with so many peopple as well as my birding buddies, and the experts who were so very helpful with identification, Dave Brown, Jared Clarke, Bruce Mactavish and Ken Knowles. Thanks to all, and I suspect I will see many birders out tomorrow as we all try to clean up on the present rarities on the first day of 2013.
..."for auld lang syne, take a cup of kindness yet, and surely you'll buy your pint cup, and surely I'll buy mine! for auld lang syne. And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne." and for each new bird!
Happy New Year!