Time for the yearly birding sum-up.
So 2016 didn’t go quite as planned! At the start of the year, we thought my wife would get her final surgery around Feb but it got bumped to August which meant shuffling a few things – namely, my birding trips. Ultimately my goal of getting my life list up to 1,000 birds fell short, ending up with 842. But no matter! Just have to get them this year instead. :)
- Seeing several white-headed woodpeckers down in Leavenworth, Washington early in the year. Beautiful birds!
- Catching a northern hawk owl up in Prince George in March. I only got to see the bird via a scope at a distance, but it was great to finally see one. That’s been a target bird for years.
- Seeing a whole laundry list of Eastern birds in North Carolina, many of which have also sought for years: prothonotary warbler, black-throated blue warbler, brown-headed nuthatch, red-headed woodpecker, red-cockaded woodpecker.
- Spending all of June in Iceland while I finished up my job at IBM, seeing a whopping 76 species of bird and ending up 8th in the country on the year’s eBird list. Saw numerous lifers including a lone king eider, white-tailed eagle, purple sandpiper, pink-footed goose, a common house martin (!) and atlantic puffin by the bucketload.
- Seeing 16 white-tailed ptarmigan up on flatiron peak, coquihalla. I wrote up an article for the most recent edition of BC Birding to describe the trip.
- Catching a few late birds for Bowen Island that have eluded me: ancient murrelet off the lighthouse, and a handsome townsend’s solitaire at the golf course.
I cut down on my birding quite a bit from the previous year so only ended up seeing 266 species in BC, 19th on the province’s eBird list. Still, not a bad year.
This coming year I’ve got several trips planned (and a couple already booked): Utah in early April, France, Belgium & Netherlands in May with the wife, San Francisco in October. I’ve also got my sights set up a big trip to Peru in November. Today I’m going to crunch the numbers and figure out how to pull that off… It’s gonna be tight.