Friday, December 18, 2009

Top 10 Birds of the Decade

A few bloggers have started posting Top 10 Birds of the Decade lists (here and here). I think David's is a little more meaningful, but this will be a fun exercise. Although I had been birdwatching many times as a kid, I didn't really start actively birding on my own until 2001 or so. I didn't chase much for the first few years.

My Top 10 US Birds in no particular order (it's easier to limit it to a US list):

1. Green Violet-ear in Navasink, NJ - showed up on my birthday and I got to see it at sunrise the next morning. It flew off a short time later never to be seen again.
2. Long-billed Murrelet - this is the only bird on the list that I didn't actually see, but I missed this extremely rare bird TWICE. I missed the one at Sandy Hook because I was at a meeting drawing pictures of my annual accomplishments. LAME. I chased it a few days later and missed it. Then I missed another at Lake Nockamixon. Boo.
3. Great Gray Owl - one of the more impromptu acts of my life was hopping on a plane to Minnesota in February 2005 to see the owl invasion there.
4. Northern Hawk Owl - one of my favorite birds, obviously. I first got to see one in Minnesota and then saw another last year in New Hampshire.
5. Ivory Gull - Not one, but two!
6. Bicknell's Thrush - one of my most enjoyable birding experiences was hiking up Wakely Mountain to see Bicknell's Thrush with fellow bird bloggers.
7. Western Reef-Heron - chased twice in NY and both times I was joined by my wife. It was her first rarity chase and we had a lot of fun. Saw it on the second try.
8. Swallow-tailed Kite - seeing a bunch of these along with a throng of Mississippi Kites in Georgia was a real highlight for me and my wife
9. Green Jay - How can you not love this bird?
10. Hoary Redpoll - only because I froze my butt off in the town of Embarass, MN and had my parents think that I died in a car crash just to see one. My cell phone had cut out while on the phone with my mom and I didn't get service back. When I got service back an hour or two later, I had 11 voicemails.

I'm sure I missed some good ones. What are your top 10?

11 comments:

John said...

That's a good list. I didn't know a Violet-ear showed up in Navesink.

corey said...

That was a great hike up Wakely...sweet list. Would love a Great Gray Owl of my own!

birdchaser said...

Great list. I still need to do that Bicknell's hike myself...

maxineguess said...

我只知道,假如我去愛人生,那人生一定也會回愛我..................................................

Dale Forbes said...

the owls and the swallowtailed kites! wow, stunning birds...

Happy birding,
Dale Forbes
http://alpinebirds.blogspot.com

Rob said...

Great list Pat!

Rob said...

This is just about impossible but here is a quick top 10 off the top of my head...

1)Red-footed Falcon--first N. American record (Martha's Vineyard, MA)
2)White-faced Storm-Petrel--"crippling" looks at this "avian kangaroo" on my FIRST-ever pelagic!
3)Ivory Gull--not one, not 2, but THREE (NY,MA,NJ) since 2007!
4)Purple Gallinule--found (w/ others) my life bird at my "local patch" (the Celery Farm) Gorgeous adult which stayed for many to see.
5)LeConte's Sparrow--My long-awaited Lifer again at the Celery Farm--stayed all day feeding in the open on the main path!
6)Black Rail--heard AND SEEN (twice!) in C-May this year. Last of the non-review list NJ species for me!
7)Band-tailed Pigeon/Long-billed Murrelet--put together as they were seen on the SAME DAY! (2nd NJ record for the Pigeon, 1st for the Murrelet--which I saw only very briefly before the weather turned horrible)
8)Scissor-tailed Flycatcher--life birds were a NESTING pair in VA! Finally saw my NJ bird this year--one of my top top fav birds...
9)Swallow-tailed Kite--another top 10 fav. My US lifer was in MD, and I saw TWO in NJ in 2009!
10) Pine Grosbeak--yet another top 10 fav--lifer was a flock in FREEZING Montepelier, VT, and I was thrilled to see a female several winters ago at IBSP in NJ!

Honorable mention: Barnacle Goose at CF, Bohemian Waxwings in NJ, W. Reef Heron in NH, Black-tailed Godwit in MA, and Red-necked Stint in CT...

Patrick Belardo said...

Great list Rob. I'm jealous. I'm still kicking myself for not going to see the RF Falcon.

Jochen said...

Patrick, I don't think Ivory Gulls should be on this list. You're making so many birders sad, you know, so sad...

;-)

Patrick Belardo said...

How about my buddy Rob above who had THREE IVGUs!! I can give you his address if you want to send him hate mail. Happy New Year Jochen!

yusuf said...
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