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Veagle's 2011 Year List (1 Viewer)

veagle

Well-known member
We had visitors from Ohio this weekend, and I showed them around some of the local birding locations today. Highlights included a Sora at Sevey's Lake, Gray Jays and Red Crossbills seen up in Lawrence County, and and immature Rose-breasted Grosbeak along Hammerquist Rd., the first I've seen west of the Missouri River in South Dakota.

August 28 - Hanna Creek Rd., Lawrence County, SD

334. Gray Jay
 

veagle

Well-known member
I am in California for business Monday and Tuesday in San Jose. Came down a few days early. This afternoon I met up with my friend Brian Sullivan, birder extraordinaire, who in the course of a couple of hours in the Carmel Valley helped me see a number of lifers and year birds. Highlights included Yellow-billed Magpie, a California endemic, Wrentit, and some great looks at California Thrasher, and California Towhee. Tomorrow I will go on my first Pelagic with Debbie Shearwater, out of Monterey.

Sept. 10 - Carmel Valley, Monterey County, California

335. Oak Titmouse
336. Acorn Woodpecker
337. Band-tailed Pigeon
338. Nuttall's Woodpecker
339. Chestnut-backed Chickadee
340. California Towhee
341. California Quail
342. Yellow-billed Magpie
343. Anna's Hummingbird
344. Wrentit
345. Hutton's Vireo
346. California Thrasher
 

veagle

Well-known member
This past Sunday, I went with Shearwater Adventures on a Pelagic trip in Monterey, California. I had been looking forward to this for a long time. Having heard all kinds of horror stories about seasickness (which I've never experienced), I armed myself with a prescription patch, and passed on the Sausage and potatoes at an early morning breakfast. We left the dock at a little after 7:30 in the morning. The weather looked pretty good, although it can be hard to tell, as most early mornings are somewhat overcast in the area. Even before leaving the dock, I had my first lifer, the very common Western Gull. The breakwater guarding the harbor was literally covered with Sea Lions and Brandt's Cormorants, and we also saw a few Black Turnstones. Before we really got out of the immediate harbor area, we spotted a huge flock of Sooty Shearwaters, maybe 5-6000 in number. Quite a site.

The day turned out to be great. The weather and seas really cooperated, and we retained some light overcast for most of the day, which is preferable to direct sunlight. As this was my first Pelagic, I got quite a few lifers, including the two Jaegers I had been missing, a South Polar Skua, and 3 Shearwaters. The best bird of the day was a single Manx Shearwater, most often seen in the Atlantic, that was spotted by Brian Sullivan. Part of what was so enjoyable about the day was that the boat was filled with experienced birders, many of whom had been on many, many Pelagics. I felt like a real beginner in this crowd, but learned an awful lot. A memorable day!

Sept. 11 - Monterey Bay Pelagic, CA

347. Western Gull
348. Brown Pelican
349. Heerman's Gull
350. Brandt's Cormorant
351. Black Turnstone
352. Sooty Shearwater
353. Common Murre
354. Pelagic Cormorant
355. Parasitic Jaeger
356. Pigeon Guillemot
357. Elegant Tern
358. Rhinoceros Auklet
359. Pink-footed Shearwater
360. Sabine's Gull
361. Pomarine Jaeger
362. Cassin's Auklet
363. Northern Fulmar
364. Buller's Shearwater
365. Red Phalarope
366. Arctic Tern
367. Long-tailed Jaeger
368. South Polar Skua
369. Ashy Storm-Petrel
370. Manx Shearwater B :)
 

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veagle

Well-known member
Yesterday, Lynn Barber and I left Rapid City at 3am to get out to the Ft. Pierre National Grasslands by dawn. Our target was Sprague's Pipit, which had been sighted in this area, and is fairly difficult to find in South Dakota. We got good looks at 9 pipits, and later saw a nice group of sparrows, including Harris'. We later met Ricky Olsen up at Oahe Dam, where there had been Little and Sabine's Gulls earlier in the week, but no dice there. We did however, get some good looks at Common Loon further upriver.

October 1 - Ft. Pierre National Grassland, SD

371. Sprague's Pipit
372. Harris's Sparrow
 

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veagle

Well-known member
I drove out to Sevey's Lake after work today, and immediately saw a couple of Swans. Once I got my scope on them, I saw the light patch near the eyes, and realized they were Tundra, a review bird in this part of the state. Hot damn!

October 20 - Sevey's Lake, SD

373. Tundra Swan
 

veagle

Well-known member
I am in San Antonio, Texas for a business meeting. Went out for a brief walk after the sessions today. I've never birded in Texas before, so it was exciting to see what was around. Had one new lifer, a Black-crested Tittmouse, along with Turkey Vultures, Northern Cardinals, Blue-headed Vireo, Carolina Chickadee, Morning Dove, Field Sparrow, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Late tommorrow afternoon I'll be making a 4 hour drive down to the Lower Rio Grande Valley, where I will spend three days birding - can't hardly wait!

October 26 - San Antonio, TX

374. Black-crested Titmouse
 

veagle

Well-known member
See my trip report for the Lower Rio Grande Valley:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=215350

October 27 - en route between San Antonio and McAllen, TX

375. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
376. Crested Caracara

October 28 - Salineno, TX

377. Plain Chachalaca
378. Golden-fronted Woodpecker
379. Long-billed Thrasher
380. Great Kiskadee

October 28 - Falcon State Park, TX

381. Green Jay
382. Couch's Kingbird
383. Common Ground-Dove
384. Inca Dove
385. Neotropic Cormorant
386. Pyrrhuloxia
387. Cave Swallow

October 28 - Bentsen Rio Grande State Park, TX

388. Solitary Sandpiper
389. Least Grebe
390. Black Phoebe
391. Gray Hawk
392. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
393. Altamira Oriole
394. Green Kingfisher
395. Clay-colored Thrush
396. Mottled Duck
 

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veagle

Well-known member
The second day of my trip to the Rio Grande Valley, was spent in McAllen, then Estero Llano Grande, then Frontera Audubon.

See my complete trip report at:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=215350

October 29 - McAllen, TX

397. Green Parakeet

October 29 - Estero Llano Grande SP, TX

398. Buff-bellied Hummingbird
399. White-tipped Dove
400. Ringed Kingfisher :t:
401. Tropical Kingbird
402. Common Pauraque
403. White-tailed Kite
404. Harris's Hawk
405. Roseate Spoonbill
 

veagle

Well-known member
My last day in the Rio Grande Valley, spent at Sabal Palms Sanctuary, then South Padre Island.

See my complete trip report at:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=215350

October 30 - Brownsville, TX

406. Muscovy Duck
407. White Ibis
408. Black Bellied Whistling Duck

October 30 - Sabal Palms Sanctuary, TX

409. Chihuahuan Raven
410. Olive Sparrow
411. White-tailed Hawk

October 30 - Old Port Isabel Rd., TX

412. Eastern Meadowlark
Aplomado Falcon - not countable

October 30 - South Padre Island, TX

413. Little Blue Heron
414. Tricolored Heron
415. Reddish Egret
416. Black-bellied Plover
417. Gull-billed Tern
418. Sandwich Tern
419. Royal Tern
 

veagle

Well-known member
I was starting to think I'd never see another year bird. November was a very quiet month, with not much time for birding. But this morning, I hit the jackpot, with a little help from my friends. Got an e-mail early today, that a female Harlequin Duck had been spotted nearby at Canyon Lake, and that three of my birding friends, Jocie Baker, Lynn Barber, and Gene Hess would all be out at 7 am to look for it again. Just so happened that I was up very early to take my wife to the airport, and so I joined them, and as the sun started to light things up, we got very good looks at the Duck. I will add pictures once I recieve them from Lynn. In addition to being a Year bird, the Harlequin which isn't seen too much in SD, and as far as I can tell has never been seen here west of the Missouri River, was a County and State bird for me.

Dec. 16 - Canyon Lake, SD

420. Harlequin Duck
 
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veagle

Well-known member
We were in New Mexico for the Holidays. I chased a 2nd state record Common Redpoll for two days unsuccessfully. But the year ended on a high note, in a couple of ways. We visited Sandia Crest, which is over 10,000 ft elevation, just east of Albuquerque. This is the best place in the US to see all three Rosy-Finches, which we did see, along with some other nice birds, like Steller's Jay, and Mountain Chickadee. I will add a wrap-up post, and some photos soon.

December 28 -Sandia Crest, NM

421. Black Rosy-Finch
422. Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
423. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
 

veagle

Well-known member
Well, belated Happy New Years to those who have followed my birding this year. If anything, the year exceeded my expectations. I visited some incredible places, met and birded with wonderful people, saw lots of new birds, and my love of this (I truly don't know what to call it - hobby doesn't go far enough- maybe) lifestyle increases.

I thought I would highlight some of the best birding experiences of the year.

- Parker River NWR, Mass. - I got the year off to a kickstart by visiting this wonderful refuge in January, and spent a good part of the day with two great birders and wonderful gentlemen, Tom Wetmore, and Doug Chickering. Got my first lifer of the year - Black Scoter

- Visiting Huntley Meadows, Virginia with my son, Matt - On a visit to Washington, DC, Matt and I revisited this nice wildlife refuge just outside of DC. I have to say there is little more fun than birding with my son, whose interest in birding seems to be growing.

- Birding in New Mexico - my wife and I have a little place that we visit in Santa Fe, and during the year we spent quite a bit of time here, particularly with our daughter Alyssa getting married this year. Exploring the arroyo near our place, finding new birds; a first visit to Embudito Canyon in Albuqerque where I found Crissal Thrasher; visits to the Davey Center in Santa Fe, and finding all three Rosy-Finches in December at Sandia Crest. I look forward to growing my small state list.

- Finding Yellow-crowned Night Heron in Western SD - My wife and I sighted a beautiful YCNH in June, eating a frog, at the time. It was only later that we realized that the Night Heron, always a good sighting in South Dakota, had never been seen west of the Missouri River. My report to the SD Rare Birds Committee was accepted later in the year.

- Visiting Kauai - In February, my wife and I spent a week in Kauai. Fantastic place, and the birding was very interesting. On the one hand there were migrants like the Pacific Golden-Plover, who make incredible journeys to the islands. There were also many non-native birds like Red-crested Cardinal, from Brazil, and Erkel's Frankolin, from Ethiopia. Then there were the incredible native birds like the Iiwi. We spent a full day searching for and finding 6 of the eight possible native honeycreepers. Throw in the great seabirds like both Red and White-tailed Tropicbirds, and this was a really great trip.

- Greatest Week of American Birding - hate the name, loved the event. Northwest Ohio in mid-May may just be the greatest place to be for Warblers, and plenty else. I spent 4 days at Magee Marsh, Ottawa NWR, and the surrounding area, met people like Kenn Kaufmann and Michael Retter, and saw bunch of new lifers, helped fill out my warbler list. Even though the weather was pretty bad, I won't forget this trip for a long time.

- California birding, including my first Pelagic - visited the Monterey area in September. Brian Sullivan helped me find a number of California Specialties like Wrentit, Nuttall's Woodpecker, California Thrasher and Towhee, and Chestnut-backed Chickadee. And the following day, had a memorable first Pelagic trip out in Monterey Bay on a beautiful day (when no one got sick!), and I saw a good number of seabirds that I had never seen before, including all three Jaegers, a South Polar Skua, and a Manx Shearwater, not usually seen in the Pacific.

- Lower Rio Grande Valley - my first trip to this mecca of American birding. I was lucky enough to spend three very full days of birding. Saw many of the iconic birds of the region - Green Jays, Chachalacas, Altamira Oriole, Black-crested Titmouse, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, White-tipped Dove, Least Grebe, Gray Hawk, Long-billed Thrasher, Great Kiskadee, and many more. Spent some time with some wonderful park rangers - Roy Rodriquez, and John Yochum, and will most definately return in the future. Incredible birding.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the encouragement, understanding and love that I recieve from my wife, Karen. Although she, too enjoys birding, her tolerance for the depths of my obsession is something that I truly appreciate, and none of this would be possible without her love and support.

Enough, already. I've got to get my 2012 list started. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts.

Veagle (Dick Latuchie)
 

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