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Veagle's 2011 Year List (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Last year was a wonderful year that I suspect will be difficult to duplicate. I was able to spend time birding in Cape May, Arizona, Florida, and Alaska, in addition to my normal territory. So how to approach the new year? I am hoping to visit the Rio Grande Valley, in Texas, and perhaps the Magee Marsh area in Ohio, but have no definate plans. My wife and I will visit Kauai, Hawaii in February, and we will spend some time during the year, including our summer vacation, in New Mexico. So for goals: I think I will be happy to hit 350 total species this year, with perhaps 63 new lifers, which would bring my life list to 500. I would be happy to bring my South Dakota total to 275, and my New Mexico list to 120. Lifers will be in bold.

My New Year birding on the 1st consisted of 80 mile/hour birding along I-25 traveling between Santa Fe and Rapid City. No optics, but it beats "collecting" license plates.

Jan. 1 - New Mexico

1. American Crow
2. Mourning Dove
3. Common Raven
4. Dark-eyed Junco
5. Bald Eagle
6. House Sparrow

Jan. 1 - Colorado

7. Black-billed Magpie
8. European Starling
9. Mountain Bluebird
10. Ferruginous Hawk
11. Rock Pigeon
12. Canada Goose
13. Red-tailed Hawk
14. American Kestral
15. Northern Harrier

Jan. 1 - Wyoming

16. Horned Lark

Jan. 2 - Canyon Lake, Rapid City, SD

17. Hooded Merganser
18. American Wigeon
19. Bufflehead
20. Mallard
21. Common Merganser
22. Gadwall
23. Common Goldeneye
24. American Coot
25. Ring-necked Duck
26. Redhead

Jan. 2 - Backyard and neighborhood birds, Rapid City, SD

27. Northern Flicker
28. American Robin
29. Eurasian Collared-Dove
30. House Finch
31. Black-capped Chickadee
32. American Goldfinch
33. Red-breasted Nuthatch
34. Pine Siskin
35. Sharp-tailed Grouse
36. Townsend's Solitaire


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Well-known member
I was in Boston for a few days, so I stayed an extra day and went up to Plum Island. I had been getting information from Tom Wetmore, who has a great website about birding here. At my first stop in Parker River Natl. Wildlife Refuge, as I am putting on layers of clothes, I see a car approaching - a guy gets out of the car, and says, "you must be that birder from South Dakota". So I spent the morning with Tom and another friend Doug Chickering, two great birders who really knew the area. I am still thawing out at 4:40 pm, but the day was a great one, with lots of birds I can't normally see, of course quite a few year birds, and a new lifer, Black Scoter:

Jan. 7, Plum Island, Mass.

37. Northern Mockingbird
38. Merlin
39. White-winged Scoter
40. Black Scoter
41. Sanderling
42. Common Eider
43. Razorbill
44. American Black Duck
45. Red-Shouldered Hawk
46. Rough-legged Hawk
47. Long-tailed Duck
48. Blue Jay
49. American Tree Sparrow
50. Song Sparrow
51. Great Black-backed Gull
52. Ring-billed Gull
53. Herring Gull
54. Common Loon
55. Red-throated Loon
56. Cedar Waxwing
57. Downy Woodpecker
58. Horned Grebe
59. Red-necked Grebe
60. Snow Bunting
61. Great Cormorant
62. Dunlin
63. Red-breasted Merganser
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Well-known member
Went on an outing with our local birding club today. Cold snowy day. The major target was a Snowy Owl, that had been seen in the last few days. We missed it, but it was a good day nevertheless. We saw lots of Raptors, a huge flock of Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs, and Horned Larks that numbered over 1000, and had Grey Partridge and Lewis's Woodpecker. A good day.

Jan. 15 - Lawrence County

65. Lewis's Woodpecker
66. Wild Turkey

Jan. 15 - Butte County

67. Golden Eagle
68. Gray Partridge
69. Lapland Longspur


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Well-known member
I briefly searched today for a Winter/Pacific Wren that has been seen sporadically since the holidays. Struck out again, but at least had one year bird.

Jan. 16 - Rapid City, SD

70. Belted Kingfisher


Well-known member
A long day driving back and forth from Rapid City to Pierre for a business meeting. Lots of Horned Larks, a fair number of raptors, including a Ferruginous Hawk, and lots of dumb Ring-necked Pheasants.

Jan. 20 - Central South Dakota

71. Ring-necked Pheasant


Well-known member
Got a call earlier from a friend who was seeing a Yellow-throated Warbler, a seriously out of range bird in any season here, to say nothing of the winter. An ideal twitch, only 2 miles away. I got down there right away, and sure enough, after waiting about 15 minutes, a beautiful YTWA appeared and the four of us got great views for five minutes. Also while waiting, got another year bird.

Jan. 23 - Rapid City, SD

72. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
73. Yellow-throated Warbler B :)


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Well-known member
Finally. Since around Christmas, I have been looking for a Winter and/or Pacific Wren that had been sighted nearby. I have probably been out looking ten times since then, with nary a wren. But late this afternoon, in the span of five minutes on an unusually warm day, I sighted both birds, first the Winter Wren, , which had a greyish/brown cast, and then the Pacific, with a significantly more rufous color. I was thrilled.

Jan. 28 Rapid City, SD

74. Winter Wren
75. Pacific Wren


Well-known member
I stopped briefly at Canyon Lake today, and saw a flock of birds in a group of trees. I didn't have any optics, but they looked likeWaxwings,and I had a hunch. Quickly went home, and returned with my binoculars. Sure enough, a large group of Waxwings, including at least 10 larger, darker, Bohemians.

Jan. 29 - Canyon Lake, SD

76. Bohemian Waxwing


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Well-known member
Took a long drive yesterday to the Pierre, SD area. Primary targets were Greater Prairie-Chicken, and Northern Saw-Whet Owl. Found a large group of the Chickens in the National Grasslands south of Pierre. Took at 2 mile hike on Farm Island Park to the nesting area of the Owl, but it was nowhere in sight. Other highlights included several Ferruginous Hawks, a Prairie Falcon, and perhaps 10,000 Canada Geese in Pierre.

February 5 - Jones County, SD

77. Greater Prairie-Chicken

February 5 - Pierre, SD

78. White-breasted Nuthatch
79. Sharp-shinned Hawk


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Well-known member
A bit of a strange morning. Went out to Sylvan Lake to see if there were any mountain birds. Didn't see a single bird, but on the way home, found 3 Red Crossbills on a telephone wire, then found a Great Horned Owl nesting on a site where I had seen them last year, and finally a quick stop at Canyon Lake, where I found a single Lesser Scaup.

Later in the day, went for a walk along the bike path in Jackson Park.

Feb. 13 - Pennington County, SD

80. Red Crossbill
81. Great Horned Owl
82. Lesser Scaup
83. Wood Duck
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Well-known member
Arrived in Kauai, Hawaii today for a week's vacation. At the airport, the first birds we saw were Pacific Golden Plover, as well as Common Myna, and a large number of domestic Chickens. Later at the Hotel, we saw a few more birds. The island has a mixture of introduced birds, and a shrinking number of endemics. We will be looking for the endemics on Monday.

Feb. 19 - Kauai, Hawaii

84. Pacific Golden-Plover
85. Common Myna (below)
86. Western Meadowlark
87. Java Sparrow
88. Zebra Dove


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Well-known member
First full day in Hawaii. Adjusting to the 3 hour difference in time, I got up early and went for a walk, finding some fairly exotic birds (for me, routine for Kauai). The weather has not been great, and as I write this it is pouring, and we are hoping for a miracle tomorrow, as we are scheduled to explore the Alakai Swamp looking for endemics.

Feb. 20 - Kauai, Hawaii

89. Cattle Egret
90. Northern Cardinal
91. Red-crested Cardinal
92. White-rumped Shama
93. Japanese White-eye
94. Black-crowned Night-Heron
95. Spotted Dove


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Had a wonderful day in the Alakai Swamp of Kauai. Really a high altitude bog, the Swamp is the home of eight endemic species to the island of Kauai. My wife and I birded today with David Kuhn, who knows the area like no one else. He led us on a 5+ hour hike, and we were able to locate the six endemics that were possible in this particular area. Earlier in the day, we also saw a number of introduced species, including Red Junglefowl, and Erckel's Francolin, and ended the day at an amazing overlook of the NaPali Coast, where I was able to spot two White-tailied Tropicbirds to end a great day.

February 21 - Koke'e State Park

96. Red Junglefowl
97. Apapane
98. Kauai Amakihi
99. Anianiau
100. Kauai Elepaio
101. Iiwi
102. Akeke'e
103. Erckel's Francolin
104. White-tailed Tropicbird


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We didn't do any serious birding today - we had to change our accomodations, and we went on a photo tour of the north shore for most of the day, but I couldn't help but notice birds along the way. It was really fun to hear the Western Meadowlark song so far from home! And the highlight was a stop along Taro fields that were full of Common Moorhen, Black-necked Stilt, and about 30 Hawaiian Geese (Nene), the official bird of Hawaii. We will return to this spot later for better looks, but I did get some pictures which I'll add when I get the chance.

February 22- Kauai, Hawaii

105. Hawaiian Goose
106. Black-necked Stilt (endemic Hawaiian sub-species)
107. Common Moorhen (endemic Hawaiian sub-species)


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Another day spent with David Kuhn, as well as a couple of very good birders from Oregon. Our first stop was Kilauea NWR. A spectacular day, weather-wise, and the highlights here included great close-up views of Laysan Albatross, both Red- and White-tailed Tropicbirds, Great Frigatebird, Red-footed Booby, and Nutmeg Mannikan. From here, we had a couple of stops in Hanalei NWR. Here we found all the expected birds, including the Hawaiin Goose, Hawaiin Duck, an Chestnut Munia. Next stop out to a state park at the end of the road, where we scoped the Ocean, finding Black Noddy, along with a Wandering Tattler along the beach. Our last stop was in Princeville, where we got amazingly up-close views of the majestic Laysan Albatross, nesting and courting in a residential neighborhood, where their awkward walking contrasted greatly with their effortless soaring. A great day had by all.

February 23 - Kilauea NWR, Kauai, Hawaii

108. Red-footed Booby
109. Laysan Albatross (below)
110. Nutmeg Mannikan
111. Snow Goose ;)
112. Cackling Goose;)
113. Red-tailed Tropicbird (below)
114. Great Frigatebird

Feb. 23 - Hanalei NWR, Kauai, Hawaii

115. Hawaiian Duck
116. Hawaiian Coot (below)
117. Chestnut Munia

Feb. 23 -Ka'a Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

118. Black Noddy
119. Wandering Tattler (below)


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We went on a 5-hr cruise along the western (NaPali) coast of Kauai yesterday. The main attraction were humpback whales that had migrated from Alaska, bottlenose and spinner dolphins, flying fish (pretty amazing), and the Coast itself. But I also had excellent looks at Laysan and Black-footed Albatross, Brown Booby, and White-tailed Tropicbirds. A great time.

February 24 - Kauai pelagic

120. Black-footed Albatross
121. Brown Booby


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Arrived hime from Kauai this morning. What a great week. What it lacked in quantity (43 species), it made up in quality (30 lifers!). And thanks to David Kuhn for guiding us to the endemics.

Anyway, I went over to Canyon Lake late this afternoon, as the only duck I'd seen last week was the Hawaiin Duck. Among the several hundred geese flying in for the night was a single Ross's Goose. A new state bird for me.

February 27 - Canyon Lake, South Dakota

122. Ross's Goose


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Took a long drive this morning to Custer and Fall River Counties, south of here, hoping for signs of Spring. Highlights were great views of a Merlin, lots of Rough-legged Hawks, and first Western Meadowlark, Mountain Bluebird, and Northern Pintail of the season. Nice.

123. Northern Pintail


Well-known member
Friday afternoon, on the way home from work, I saw multiple groups of Red-Winged Blackbirds. Then yesterday, my friend Jocie Baker and I drove north of Belle Fourche, SD to try to find Greater Sage-Grouse. We had great scope views of 3 displaying males, and 1 (unimpressed) female. Stopped several places on the way back to see what was around. Some good firsts of the year, including Greater White-fronted Goose, Yellow Headed Blackbird, Canvasback, Northern Shoveler, and Great Blue Heron. A nice day.

March 18 - Rapid City, SD

124. Red-winged Blackbird

March 19 - Butte County, SD

125. Greater Sage-Grouse
126. Canvasback
127. Northern Shoveler
128. Green-winged Teal
129. California Gull
130. Yellow-headed Blackbird
131. Greater White-fronted Goose

March 19 - Meade County, SD
132. Great Blue Heron

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