Monday, December 31, 2012

End of the Year Review

We ranged from Alaska to Puerto Rico in our pursuit of birds this year. 311 species for 2012, far ahead of last year. 20 life birds for each of us, though not exactly the same birds. While we saw lifers in Puerto Rico, Washington, & Alaska, I think the most satisfying ones, the ones I enjoyed the most were the lifers close to home. UPLAND SANDPIPER and GRASSHOPPER SPARROW this June with Pete Bacinski and Linda Mack at Lakehurst Naval Base were exciting finds for us--20 minutes from home, but only accessible once a year when the base opens itself up for birders. And finally hearing a CHUCK-WILLS-WIDOW at Brigantine with Pete this summer was also very special.

The first lifer for me wasn't until May when we went to Chincoteague and Shari took me to the spot where she'd seen BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES previously with Pete and Scott and sure enough, there they were. Our last life bird was just a couple of weeks ago, SHINY COWBIRD, in the side yard of a the Puerto Vieja Cafe, along with Yellow-shouldered Blackbirds.

Superstorm Sandy did so much damage to so much habitat all along the east coast that it seems almost impossible that places like Brigantine or Jamaica Bay will ever be restored to how they were. How this affects the bird populations on their migrations is yet to be known. It does make finding birds more of a challenge, a small problem compared to what the birds are facing. (And no, my sympathies don't extend to people who wanted to live on the edge of the ocean and inevitably lost their homes.)

On a boastful note, unless Scott Barnes sneaks into Ocean County today and finds a couple of more birds, it looks like I'll finish #1 in the county for the year with 182 species. It is a testament to my obsessiveness, not my birding skills.

And so the final list for 2012: (UPPERCASE BOLD is a life bird).
Species                                          Location
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck     Brigantine
West Indian Whistling-Duck     Laguna Cartegena

Snow Goose     Brigantine
Brant     Nummy Island
Barnacle Goose     Mercer Corporate Park
Canada Goose     Cape May Point SP
Mute Swan     Cape May Point SP
Tundra Swan     Brigantine

Wood Duck     Whiting WMA
Gadwall     Cape May Point SP
American Wigeon     Cape May Point SP
American Black Duck     Sandy Hook
Mallard     Cape May Point SP
Blue-winged Teal     Brigantine
Northern Shoveler     Cape May Point SP
White-cheeked Pintail     Pond Near Copamarina
Northern Pintail     Cape May Point SP
Green-winged Teal     Cape May Point SP
Canvasback     Riverfront Landing
Ring-necked Duck     Cape May Point SP
TUFTED DUCK     Laguna Cartegena
Greater Scaup     Sandy Hook
Lesser Scaup     Cape May Point SP
Common Eider     Avalon--8th St. Jetty
Harlequin Duck     Barnegat Lighthouse SP
Surf Scoter     Avalon--8th St. Jetty
White-winged Scoter     Sandy Hook
Black Scoter     Cape May Point SP
Long-tailed Duck     Avalon--8th St. Jetty
Bufflehead     Nummy Island
Common Goldeneye     Sandy Hook
Hooded Merganser     Cape May Point SP
Common Merganser     Lilly Lake
Red-breasted Merganser     Nummy Island
Masked Duck     Laguna Cartegena
Ruddy Duck     Prospect Park

HELMETED GUINEAFOWL     Laguna Cartegena
Northern Bobwhite     35 Sunset Rd
Ring-necked Pheasant     Lacey Road
Ruffed Grouse     Coles Brook Farm
Wild Turkey     GSP MM 95

Red-throated Loon     Cape May Point SP
Pacific Loon     Glacier Bay
Common Loon     Avalon--8th St. Jetty
Pied-billed Grebe     Cape May Point SP
Horned Grebe     Avalon--8th St. Jetty

NORTHERN FULMAR     Aboard MS Westerdam
LEACH'S STORM-PETREL     Aboard MS Westerdam
Magnificent Frigatebird     Outside Ponce

Brown Booby     Cabo Rojo NWR
Northern Gannet     Cape May Point SP

Double-crested Cormorant     Lilly Lake
Great Cormorant     Nummy Island
Pelagic Cormorant     Glacier Bay

American White Pelican     Brigantine
Brown Pelican     Great Bay Blvd WMA

American Bittern     Brigantine
Least Bittern     Bombay Hook NWR
Great Blue Heron     Cape May Point SP
Great Egret     Cape May Point SP
Snowy Egret     Brigantine
Little Blue Heron     Cattus Island County Park
Tricolored Heron     Cattus Island County Park
Reddish Egret     Brigantine
Cattle Egret     Brigantine
Green Heron     Chincoteague NWR--Wildlife Loop
Black-crowned Night-Heron     Brigantine
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron     Great Bay Blvd WMA
White Ibis     Chincoteague NWR
Glossy Ibis     Brigantine
White-faced Ibis     Brigantine

Black Vulture     Cape May Point SP
Turkey Vulture     Cape May Point SP
Osprey     Mt. Loretto Unique Area
Northern Harrier     Brigantine
Sharp-shinned Hawk     Cape May Point SP
Cooper's Hawk     Whiting WMA
Bald Eagle     Bombay Hook NWR
Red-shouldered Hawk     Cape May Point SP
Red-tailed Hawk     Central Park

Clapper Rail     Little Toms Cove
Virginia Rail     Brigantine
Sora     Horicon Lake
Purple Gallinule     Laguna Cartegena
Common Gallinule     Brigantine
American Coot     Cape May Point SP
Caribbean Coot     Laguna Cartegena
Black-bellied Plover     Stone Harbor Point
American Golden-Plover     Bombay Hook NWR
Wilson's Plover     Cabo Rojo NWR
Semipalmated Plover     Chincoteague NWR--Wildlife Loop
Piping Plover     Assateague Island
Killdeer     Shelter Cove Park
American Oystercatcher     Nummy Island
Black-necked Stilt     Bombay Hook NWR
American Avocet     Ted Harvey WMA
Spotted Sandpiper     Prospect Park
Solitary Sandpiper     Whiting WMA
Greater Yellowlegs     Bombay Hook NWR
Willet     Brigantine
Lesser Yellowlegs     Bombay Hook NWR
Whimbrel     Brigantine
Hudsonian Godwit     Bombay Hook NWR
Marbled Godwit     Nummy Island
Ruddy Turnstone     Avalon--8th St. Jetty
Red Knot     Stone Harbor Point
Sanderling     Avalon--8th St. Jetty
Semipalmated Sandpiper     Brigantine
Western Sandpiper     Brigantine
Least Sandpiper     Chincoteague NWR--Marsh Trail
White-rumped Sandpiper     Brigantine
Pectoral Sandpiper     Bombay Hook NWR
Purple Sandpiper     Avalon--8th St. Jetty
Dunlin     Avalon--8th St. Jetty
Stilt Sandpiper     Brigantine
Buff-breasted Sandpiper     Sandy Hook
RUFF     Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge--East Pond
Short-billed Dowitcher     Brigantine
Long-billed Dowitcher     Brigantine
Wilson's Phalarope     Brigantine
Red-necked Phalarope     Cabo Rojo NWR

Black-legged Kittiwake     Glacier Bay
Bonaparte's Gull     Cape May Point SP
Laughing Gull     Cape May Meadows
Mew Gull     Juneau Harbor
Ring-billed Gull     Cape May Point SP
Herring Gull     Cape May Point SP
Lesser Black-backed Gull     Brigantine
Great Black-backed Gull     Cape May Point SP
Least Tern     Horicon Lake
Gull-billed Tern     Brigantine
Caspian Tern     Brigantine
Black Tern     Sandy Hook
Common Tern     Assateague Island
Arctic Tern     Glacier Bay
Forster's Tern     Cape May Point SP
Royal Tern     Brigantine
Sandwich Tern     Boqueron
Black Skimmer     Assateague Island

Common Murre     Glacier Bay
Razorbill     Manasquan Inlet
Pigeon Guillemot     Pier 91
CASSIN'S AUKLET     Juan de Fuca Strait
RHINOCEROS AUKLET     Juan de Fuca Strait
TUFTED PUFFIN     Glacier Bay

Rock Pigeon     Cape May Point SP
Eurasian Collared-Dove     Lincoln Ave, Cape May Pt
White-winged Dove     Lincoln Ave, Cape May Pt
Zenaida Dove     Guanica
Mourning Dove     Avalon--8th St. Jetty
Common Ground-Dove     Ponce--general area

Yellow-billed Cuckoo     Wells Mills Park
Mangrove Cuckoo     Bosque Estatal de Guánica
Black-billed Cuckoo     Island Beach SP
Smooth-billed Ani     Laguna Cartegena

Eastern Screech-Owl     35 Sunset Rd
Great Horned Owl     Prospect Park
Barred Owl     Bombay Hook NWR

Common Nighthawk     Lakehurst NAES
CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW     Brigantine
Eastern Whip-poor-will     35 Sunset Rd

Chimney Swift     Brigantine

Antillean Mango     Copamarina
Ruby-throated Hummingbird     35 Sunset Rd

Puerto Rican Tody     Bosque Estatal de Guánica

Belted Kingfisher     Cattus Island County Park

Puerto Rican Woodpecker     Laguna Cartegena
Red-bellied Woodpecker     35 Sunset Rd
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker     Crestwood Village
RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER     Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
Downy Woodpecker     35 Sunset Rd
Hairy Woodpecker     35 Sunset Rd
Northern Flicker     Cape May Point SP
Pileated Woodpecker     Walkway over the Hudson

Crested Caracara     Princeton Junction--Grover Farm
American Kestrel     Whiting WMA
Merlin     18 Aberdeen Avenue
Peregrine Falcon     Brigantine

Caribbean Elaenia     Cabo Rojo
Eastern Wood-Pewee     Winding Hills County Park
Lesser Antillean Pewee     Bosque Estatal de Guánica
Acadian Flycatcher     Chincoteague NWR
Willow Flycatcher     Bombay Hook NWR
Eastern Phoebe     White's Bogs
Great Crested Flycatcher     Double Trouble State Park
Puerto Rican Flycatcher     Laguna Cartegena
Eastern Kingbird     Whiting WMA
Gray Kingbird     Bosque Estatal de Guánica
LOGGERHEAD KINGBIRD     Bosque Estatal de Guánica

White-eyed Vireo     Brigantine
Bell's Vireo     Cape Island--The Beanery (Rea Farm)
Blue-headed Vireo     Island Beach SP
Warbling Vireo     Whiting WMA
Philadelphia Vireo     Central Park
Red-eyed Vireo     Bombay Hook NWR

Blue Jay     Lilly Lake
American Crow     Cape May Point SP
Fish Crow     Whiting WMA
Common Raven     Juneau--downtown

Horned Lark     Fast Landing Rd

Northern Rough-winged Swallow     Lighthouse Pond
Purple Martin     Brigantine
Tree Swallow     Whiting WMA
Bank Swallow     Bombay Hook NWR
Barn Swallow     Cape May Meadows
Cliff Swallow     Great Bay Blvd WMA
Cave Swallow     Cemetery of the Resurrection

Carolina Chickadee     35 Sunset Rd
Black-capped Chickadee     Allaire State Park
Chestnut-backed Chickadee     Sitka Nat. Historical Park
Tufted Titmouse     Whiting WMA

Red-breasted Nuthatch     Crestwood Village
White-breasted Nuthatch     Whiting WMA

Brown Creeper     Whiting WMA

House Wren     Whiting WMA
Winter Wren     Prime Hook NWR--Headquarters area
Marsh Wren     Bombay Hook NWR
Bewick's Wren     North Seattle
Carolina Wren     Cape May Point SP

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     Estell Manor Park(move)
Golden-crowned Kinglet     Whiting WMA
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     Whiting WMA

Eastern Bluebird     Cape Island--The Beanery (Rea Farm)
Veery     Double Trouble State Park
Swainson's Thrush     Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
Hermit Thrush     Cattus Island County Park
Wood Thrush     Whiting WMA
American Robin     Cape May Point SP
Varied Thrush     Mt. Roberts Tramway

Gray Catbird     Brigantine
Northern Mockingbird     Cape May Point SP
Brown Thrasher     Double Trouble State Park
Pearly-eyed Thrasher     Copamarina

European Starling     Cape May Point SP

Cedar Waxwing     Cape May Point SP

Snow Bunting     Sandy Hook

Ovenbird     Whiting WMA
Northern Waterthrush     Prospect Park
Blue-winged Warbler     Double Trouble State Park
Black-and-white Warbler     Whiting WMA
Nashville Warbler     Cape May Point SP
Common Yellowthroat     Whiting WMA
Hooded Warbler     Double Trouble State Park
American Redstart     Central Park
Northern Parula     Crestwood Village
Magnolia Warbler     Chincoteague NWR
Blackburnian Warbler     Cape May Point SP
Yellow Warbler     Crossley Preserve
Chestnut-sided Warbler     Cape May Point SP
Blackpoll Warbler     Island Beach SP
Black-throated Blue Warbler     Cape May Point SP
Palm Warbler     Horicon Lake
Pine Warbler     Whiting WMA
Yellow-rumped Warbler     Cape May Point SP
Prairie Warbler     Whiting WMA
Adelaide's Warbler     Bosque Estatal de Guánica
Townsend's Warbler     Sitka Nat. Historical Park
Canada Warbler     Central Park
Yellow-breasted Chat     Bryant Park

Bananaquit     Bosque Estatal de Guánica
Yellow-faced Grassquit     Laguna Cartegena
Black-faced Grassquit     Laguna Cartegena

Puerto Rican Bullfinch     Bosque Estatal de Guánica

Spotted Towhee     North Seattle
Eastern Towhee     Whiting WMA
American Tree Sparrow     White's Bogs
Chipping Sparrow     35 Sunset Rd
Field Sparrow     Sandy Hook
Savannah Sparrow     Great Bay Blvd WMA
Saltmarsh Sparrow     Great Bay Blvd WMA
Seaside Sparrow     Brigantine
Fox Sparrow     35 Sunset Rd
Song Sparrow     Crestwood Village
Lincoln's Sparrow     Starrigavan Estuary (Sitka)
Swamp Sparrow     Little Creek Wildlife Area
White-throated Sparrow     Empty lot at Whildin and Harvard
White-crowned Sparrow     Island Beach SP
Dark-eyed Junco     Whiting WMA

Northern Cardinal     Cape May Point SP
Rose-breasted Grosbeak     35 Sunset Rd
Blue Grosbeak     Chincoteague NWR
Indigo Bunting     Chincoteague NWR
Dickcissel     Empty lot at Whildin and Harvard

Red-winged Blackbird     Brigantine
Yellow-shouldered Blackbird     Puerto Viejo Cafe
Eastern Meadowlark     Lakehurst NAES
Common Grackle     Clara Barton rest stop
Boat-tailed Grackle     Bridge to Nowhere
Greater Antillean Grackle     Copamarina
SHINY COWBIRD     Puerto Viejo Cafe
Brown-headed Cowbird     Sandy Hook
Orchard Oriole     Chincoteague NWR
Venezuelan Troupial     Pond Near Copamarina
Baltimore Oriole     Cape May Point SP

Antillean Euphonia     Bosque Estatal de Guánica

Purple Finch     35 Sunset Rd
House Finch     Cape Island--The Beanery (Rea Farm)
Red Crossbill     Deal--Clem Conover Rd.
Pine Siskin     35 Sunset Rd
American Goldfinch     35 Sunset Rd

House Sparrow     Empty lot at Whildin and Harvard

ORANGE BISHOP     Laguna Cartegena
Orange-cheeked Waxbill     Laguna Cartegena
Bronze Mannikin     Cabo Rojo