Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The First Fifty (-One)

At lunchtime Monday I thought my 2010 bird list reached 50 species when I spotted about 20 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks on our local retention pond.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

It then turned out that my list had actually reached 51 species, because on Saturday I had misindentified a White-tailed Hawk.

So not a bad start to the year, considering that I have spent only a very few hours birdwatching. However, I'm going to have to fit in some more intensive birding in the next few weeks if I want to match my 2009 total of 100 species by the end of January.

I didn't use to bother with year lists. However, I find they serve a very useful purpose for a lazy birder like me: They help motivate me to get off my butt and look for/at birds.

Speaking of lists, I'm amazed to see that two common local residents are missing from mine. I haven't yet seen a Red-bellied Woodpecker or a Carolina Wren. In previous years both species were always in the first ten birds on my list. Red-bellied would be literally daily visitors to our yards and virtually any walk along the nature trail at CyFair would produce the sight or sound of a Carolina Wren. Last year I saw a Red-bellied in our yards perhaps half-a-dozen times and I don't think I saw or heard a Carolina at all on the nature trail.

The First Fifty (-One)

1. Chipping Sparrows
2. American Goldfinch
3. House Finches
4. Northern Mockingbird
5. Downy Woodpecker
6. Carolina Chickadee
7. Yellow-rumped Warbler
8. Blue Jay
9. Northern Cardinal
10. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

11. American Kestrel
12. Rock Dove/Pigeon
13. Common Grackle
14. European Starling
15. White-winged Dove
16. Great-tailed Grackle

17. Cedar Waxwing
18. Pied-billed Grebe
19. Canvasback
20. Great Egret
21. Great Blue Heron
22. Turkey Vulture
23. Black Vulture
24. Red-tailed Hawk
25. Northern Harrier
26. Killdeer
27. Mourning Dove
28. Eastern Phoebe
29. Loggerhead Shrike
30. Eastern Bluebird
31. Savannah Sparrow
32. Field Sparrow
33. Red-winged Blackbird
34. Eastern Meadowlark
35. Horned Lark

36. Vesper Sparrow
37. White-tailed Hawk
38. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
39. Tufted Titmouse
40. House Sparrow
41. Lincoln’s Sparrow
42. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
43. House Wren
44. Orange-crowned Warbler
45. Sedge Wren
46. Snow Goose
47. Snowy Egret
48. Little Blue Heron
49. American Coot
50. Laughing Gull
51. Black-bellied Whistling Duck


Birdwoman said...

Ha! This is probably the only day of the year that I'm actually ahead of you! I may just have to go out and celebrate. As of today, my total stands at 56. Anahuac helped. (Actually, the total should have been better - there were some shorebirds and sparrows at Anahuac that I couldn't confidently identify.)

Jeff said...

That's a great total for such a short time. Managed to get a few more today at Bear Creek Park but I'm hoping to do my first real trip of the year on Sunday, to Attwater NWR.

Jeff said...
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