When I started last year on my experimental “green” year I thought that 240 birds were possible. After the year got off to a good start I raised the expectations to between 240 and 260 birds. My final total was 250. Was 260 possible. I’ve checked previous September Pelagic trips and I could have added a good 9+ species to my list. Some Jaegers, Fulmars, Murrelets, Shearwaters, Petrels, and Terns come to mind. As you know from reading this blog, the September Pelagic trip for 2013 was canceled due to bad weather. A good fall vagrant migration would have added 1 or 2 birds. So yes 260 was possible. My previous best year for Mendocino County using my normal methods of birding by truck was 263 birds. I normally average somewhere around 240. So I wasn’t bird deprived in 2013 using the MTA, my bike, and my feet. This screen shot shows that I was competitive with other Mendocino County birders.
I added 8 new Mendocino County birds to my list. Two of them were lifers. The best bird was the first documented sighting of a Curlew Sandpiper in Mendocino County, a lifer for me.
The second best would have to be the Brown Booby seen during a rough spring pelagic trip. Also a lifer for me and possibly the best pelagic trip picture I’ve ever taken.
Some other first Mendocino birds were a Black-throated Sparrow one of maybe only five seen in the county.
A very disheveled White-winged Dove.
I found three Tropical Kingbirds during the year.
Birds I didn’t get pictures of were the Northern Parula. Would have tried but the bird was flitting around the windows of a private residence and I felt it was unethical as a photographer to take pictures. Felt uncomfortable even viewing the bird. Both the Great-tailed Grackle and the Rough-legged Hawk were to far off to get a picture.
Some other pictures of birds seen are below. Note that not all of the pictures were taken during 2013.
2013 seemed to be the year of the Pectoral Sandpiper.
My shorebird scattering Peregrine Falcon.
A recently arrived Rock (Sand) Sandpiper.
I apologize to all the other birds seen and photographed during the year. This has to end somewhere.
Last is a picture of the male Snowy Plover that nested in 2013 on Ten Mile Beach. He has been seen in the wintering flock this season. Will it happen again? Only time will tell.