Monday, January 21, 2008

My 800th Life Bird!

Moments before seeing #800. I think I'm pishing in this photo, despite the fact that my hands look like I'm doing something else.

Is it possible that I saw my 800th life bird and didn't realize it? No, this won't be another story like my 500th ABA bird. Having not traveled out of the US since last January, I've had my AviSys set to "ABA mode" and didn't even realize that I reached 803 species for the world while in New Mexico. I was so focused on reaching my 500th ABA bird last year that I never really even peaked at how close I was to 800 world birds. Can you tell that 2007 was a crazy year full of distractions (both good and bad)?

So what species was it that set this milestone for me? I had to actually think back on it and re-trace our steps in New Mexico. The last life bird I saw there was Red-naped Sapsucker, prior to that Clark's Grebe, and prior to that Ferruginous Hawk... 803, 802, and 801 respectively. Bird #800 was seen just before dark on November 26 at Bosque del Apache NWR along the Canyon Trail. It was a Sage Sparrow that bounced out onto the sandy trail and gave Beth and me some spectacular views. We had struck out on this species at Petroglyphs National Monument earlier in the trip. Thanks to the folks of the NM birding email list for the tips on the Canyon Trail!

11 comments:

John said...

Congratulations!

mon@rch said...

Congrats for sure and onward to 900!

P. Ollig said...

Congrats! That's quite an impressive number!! Unfortunately, my only non-ABA lifers all come from Hawaii, so my life list isn't much bigger than my ABA list. If only I had remembered that I was a birder when I took my trip to Europe all those years ago...

Patrick Belardo said...

Thanks everybody!

Paul, most of mine are from two trips to Costa Rica and a trip to Europe. I had a couple trips to US spots and Europe that I'd like to go back to with binoculars!

Corey said...

Nice! 800 birds, only 200 shy of 10% of the birds in the world...this habit of ours never ends, does it?

Mike said...

I can't believe you missed that auspicious moment. I'm beginning to think you're more of a bird watcher than a birder!

Patrick Belardo said...

Trust me, I was quite disappointed in myself! I need to grow out my beard more and wear a vest so I can redeem my birder image.

Owlman said...

Congrats! Think how many birds you could add if you went to Africa ;-) Kruger National Park is home to over 500 bird species!
http://www.south-african-game-reserves.com/dirbirds.htm

Have fun and here's to another 800!

birdchaser said...

Patrick, what's up with wearing the bins down at belt level? I've seen this more and more, but when I was a kid we were always taught to keep 'em up high on the chest. What gives?

Patrick Belardo said...

Rob,

I wear a harness (binocular bra) that's about 6 years old and has lost all elasticity. So, it hangs around my belt. But you're right, I do see a lot of people wearing them like that. I prefer mine higher up and I am constantly adjusting my harness. I need a new one.

nina said...

This is how new fashions get started--one happens upon it by accident, and all others follow.
Maybe you've started something!