Sunday, 4 January 2015

State of my Birding in 2014

2014 was a strange year.  It started off dry, a drought which led to dry ponds and swamps.  This may or may not have been responsible for the low number of migrating shorebirds.  But it concluded with a bang!  The rains came; the ponds and swamps were bursting at the banks, there were many sightings which had us running back to the records.  No new species were recorded but we saw birds that had been recorded only a few times on the island.  It was a fun year and I was happy to share it with you.

Here are the stats:

Total Species: 101

Blackpoll Warbler (Lifer)
A good start in the first three months of the year, where I recorded 59 species, set the tone for my first triple digit year.  An early start allowed me to see the wintering birds from late 2013 before they moved on.   Included were some important birds such as a Green Winged Duck, Glossy Ibis and Northern Pintails along with a few rare ones like the Ruddy Duck seen in St. Lucy in February.
The real boost came in September, I wrote about that at this link.  It felt good reaching my first 100 in one year.  The next step is the local record of 118.

Total Lifers for 2014: 23
My first lifer for the year was the Yellow-crowned Night Heron seen at Woodbourne in February.  In November, rare bird month, I recorded the most lifers totaling 6 species, in September 5 species. Eurasian birds were mainly recorded in the latter part of the year.

Bird of the Year: ----

It was not hard to choose a bird of the year in 2013 but it very hard this year.  The birds in close
contention are Blackpoll Warblers, West Indian Whispering Duck, Scarlet Tanager, White-crowned Pigeon, Common Nighthawk, Anhinga (my 100th lifer), Red Billed Tropic Bird, Ruddy Duck, Common Cuckoo and a few others. I can’t decide…

The birds Missed in 2014: 10

I missed a few birds this year.
Mask Booby
Brown Booby
Black-throated Warbler
Western Sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Purple Heron
Oven Bird
Northern Harrier