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!