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Veagle's 2012 List

 
 
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Old Friday 28th December 2012, 05:19   #101
veagle
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Location: Rapid City, South Dakota
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Karen and I took the drive down to Bosque del Apache today. Got a close-up view of a Raven, which proved itself Chichuahuan by voice. After stopping at the Visitor Center, where we saw White-throated Sparrow, and Gambell's Quail, we spent some time on the Canyon Trail- where we got excellent close-up views of Sage Sparrow.

After lunch, we drove the Loop Drive. The sheer numbers of Snow Geese, with a few Ross's tossed in, and Sandhill Cranes, was magical. Other highlights inclduded Greater Roadrunner, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ladderback Woodpecker, Long-billed Dowitcher, Merlin, and many others.

December 27 - Bosque del Apache, NM

441. Chichuahuan Raven
442. Sage Sparrow
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Life list: 1305 ABA: 689
Most recent lifers: Cerulean Warbler, Smith’s Longspur, Flame-colored Tanager
Latest South Dakota bird: Eurasian Wigeon (332)
Latest New Mexico Bird: White-throated Swift (172)
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Old Sunday 30th December 2012, 13:46   #102
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One last walk in the Arroyo yesterday morning. REALLY cold, about 8F, hard to keep fingers warm despite two sets of gloves. After seeing a couple of nice Juniper Titmouse, I was headed back, and heard distinct drumming. Tried to call in the Williamson's Sapsucker, but it kept it's distance. But ironically the same spot as I first saw one two years ago, which at the time was my last bird of the year, number #395 for the year in the ABA area, and wouldn't you know it, same number this year.

December 27 - Santa Fe, NM

443. Williamson's Sapsucker
__________________
Life list: 1305 ABA: 689
Most recent lifers: Cerulean Warbler, Smith’s Longspur, Flame-colored Tanager
Latest South Dakota bird: Eurasian Wigeon (332)
Latest New Mexico Bird: White-throated Swift (172)
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Old Thursday 3rd January 2013, 21:40   #103
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Well, Happy New Year's again. Another great year. Some of the highlights of 2012 birding were:

Fall trip to LaCreek NWR - a nice place in central South Dakota that I try to visit a couple times a year. I visited this year in April, but my Sept. 22 visit was really nice. As is usual, I ran into no one in about 6 hours of birding. We really do get spoiled here in the Dakotas. I had 55 species that day, including really good looks at American Bittern (twice), White-faced Ibis, Virginia Rail, and a nice cross section of Sparrows. But the true highlight was spending about a half hour at close proximity to a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, which I was to learn was the first one ever seen at this location. Got good photos to boot. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8017604742/)

South Dakota Birding Festival - held in Pickstown, SD in May, this was a great way to spend time with many of my birding pals and see some birds that we don't get in the western part of the state - some highlights - Barn Owl, Blackpoll Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Scarlet Tanager, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Birding with my son, in Chicago - I visited Matt end of September in Chicago, after he relocated from Washington, DC. We did some birding along Lake Michigan to a few places that I will want to visit again next spring. Some nice warblers - Cape May, Magnolia, Palm and Northern Waterthrush, and Gray-cheeked Thrush.

Lifer Snowy Owl - Last Jan 1, my wife and I spent the day driving out in the central part of the state, looking for Snowy Owl, as it was being seen all over. We lucked out early in the day, finding a beauty perched on a fence just east of the town of Hayes. It was really an amazing bird.

Spring Birding in Washington State - I went to Seattle for business, took an extra day, and met up with Michael Hobbs, a retired Microsoft programmer, who is a real local expert. We spent a full day in multiple locations, found both my target birds - Eurasian Wigeon, and Red-breasted Sapsucker, and plenty of other good birds, including Pacific Wren, Pileated Woodpecker, Townsend's Warbler, Surf and White-winged Scoters, Long-tailed and Harlequin Ducks, Black Oystercatcher, and Pacific Loon. A great day - thank you Michael

Fall birding in California - another business trip, another few days of birding, at Big Morongo State Park, and the Salton Sea. My life Clapper Rail, another Yellow-footed Gull, and the spectacle of the Salton Sea - my second trip, no less great. Although this time the weather was as advertised, over 100, even in October.

Life Ruff - this was a good spring for Ruff in the Midwest. One had been located northeast of Pierre, a good 4 hour drive. Two other intrepid birders and I made the trip getting there shortly after sun-rise, and although it took us a good 45 minutes, we were able to identify the Ruff, and get good looks, albeit at distance. Had four other birds I'd never seen in South Dakota - Piping Plover, American Golden Plover, Short-billed Dowitcher, and Great-tailed Grackle. Always fun to share this kind of trip with other friends.

Winter trip to Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico - my wife and I have a little place in Santa Fe, but until just a week ago, had never been to Bosque del Apache, known around the US as one of the best places to see wintering Sandhill Cranes, and Snow Geese. It certainly lived up to its reputation. Started the day off successfully looking for my life Sage Sparrow. Lots of diversity, and the 15 mile Auto drive was great - some truly magical spots with thousands of birds flying in near the end of the day, and spectacular sunset.

Birding in France - our first real birding in Europe. Although our trip was not focused on birding we spent two days in the Camargue, where I got a chance to see the famous Greater Flamingos, along with many other birds that I'd never seen before. Some of my favorites were White Stork, Purple Heron, Kentish Plover, European Bee-eater, and later in Provence - Blackcap, Western Bonelli's Warbler, Eurasian Crag-Martin, and European Robin and Greenfinch.

"Second-Spring" trip to Southeastern Arizona - we went on our first organized birding trip with one of the big tour companies, and it was a total blast. Six days of birding, didn't have to worry about logistics, and the two guides were just phenomenal. I had 35 lifers! Almost too much to absorb. Some of the great regional specialty birds - Elegant Trogan, Plain-capped Starthoat, Montezuma Quail, Western Spotted Owl, Arizona Woodpecker, Mexican Whip-poor-will, Red-faced Warbler, Mexican Chickadee, Greater Pewee, Elf Owl...the list goes on.

Another year concluded...great fun...new friends...old friends...thanks again to my wonderful wife, Karen, who "enables" my obsession. I hope I have been able to share some of the fun with you.

Veagle (Dick Latuchie)
__________________
Life list: 1305 ABA: 689
Most recent lifers: Cerulean Warbler, Smith’s Longspur, Flame-colored Tanager
Latest South Dakota bird: Eurasian Wigeon (332)
Latest New Mexico Bird: White-throated Swift (172)
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