At the end of 2013 I did several posts that were titled, Wrap Up 1,2,3, and 4–The Birds, The Logistics, The Blog, and What's Next? Since 2013 was a “green” year, wrapping it up was a little more significant than 2014. I did not do as much birding in 2014 with most of my time spent doing bird survey work for Save Our Shorebirds(SOS) at Virgin Creek Beach and The Mendocino Land Trust on Big River. I did continue to do my weekly Little River Airport outings but didn't travel to inland Mendocino to bird. I also didn't blog as much in 2014 and I'm a little surprised that I've even kept this blog going. But I sort of enjoy blogging and it allows me to vent about the current state of birding like the last post (as of this writing, 1/13/15, the ABA still has not recognized Dorian Anderson on their blog), the sad state of the planet because of climate change, and news about biking and alternate means of travel.
So this will be a mini version of the 2013 Wrap Up posts and I'll try to get it done in one post.
Wrap Up–The Birds. Although I didn't spend as much time birding I did manage to see 220 bird species. 221 if you want to count the Mute Swan. I didn't spend anytime inland but did do two pelagic trips. I had 5 new county birds with 2 being lifers. I guess the best bird was the Cory's Shearwater. It's only the third record for California. I got a picture but it's not pretty and the California Bird Records Committee, our birding gods, haven't approved it yet.
The second lifer was a Murphy's Petrol which was too far off for a picture. Note that the two lifers were on pelagic trips. The biggest excitement for land birders was the Black Skimmer found on Virgin Creek Beach. It was a first record for Mendocino County with two more to follow in a short period of time.
I found a female Mountain Bluebird at the Little River Airport. The behavior of other birders trying to relocate the bird made me swear off reporting birds of high value found at the airport.
My fifth county bird is a secret. It has not been reported on any birding website and has not been Ebirded. This is because of it's threatened status in California. A colony of these birds was found in Mendocino County in 2013. Only a select few birders know of the existence of this colony and you will not get the location from me. The birds are Bank Swallows.
Some other notable birds that I got pictures of–a Lawrence Goldfinch at the Little River Airport.
My best picture of a South Polar Skua.
One of my favorite birds to get a picture of is the American Avocet. This one was on Virgin Creek Beach.
2014 was the year of the Elegant Tern in Mendocino County with hundreds being seen.
And finally a Pectoral Sandpaper which is not rare but I really like this picture of one dwarfed by the giant kelp.
The link to Wrap Up 1–The Birds for 2013 can be found here.
Wrap Up 2–the Logistics for 2013 can be found here. I'm a failure on the logistics for 2014. Didn't keep track of anything. Don't have any idea as to how many vehicle miles I saved. I have continued to use the bike and bus to do most of my birding. I fill-up my truck about every two months. The price of a bus pass has increased but it's still cheaper to ride the bus. I believe a round trip from Mendocino and Fort Bragg is now $1.06 instead of $.96. Due to a tire change by Catch a Canoe and Bicycles Too I had no broken spokes or flat tires. The bus was generally on time. So much for logistics.
Wrap Up 3–The Blog get a little more interesting. 2013 is here. At the end of 2013 I had 651 views of my blog. At the end of 2014 I had 2,584. A great increase in views. While in the big picture of blogs that might not be a high number, I'm happy with it. Comments were up to 92. That's 37 comments for 2014, down from 55 in 2013. Maybe people weren't as chatty this last year. I wrote 191 posts in 2013 (hard to believe) and only 82 in 2014.
In 2013 people in 25 countries had viewed my blog. At the end of 2014 that was up to 60. I need to fill in the map of Africa a little more. Just added Finland today. Who knew how popular I was in Moldova:>)
WordPress tells me that some of my most popular posts were written in 2013. One of those was the Psychology of Bus Riding Part Four–How Not to Sit Next to the Weirdo. I'm actually proud of this series of posts. It was picked-up by the Mendocino Transit Authority and linked to. This year it strangely took off again due to some financial company in England. The mysteries of blogging! Another 2013 post was the Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future. It has continued to be a popular post for the last two years. My most viewed 2014 post was Haboobs–Is Phoenix Doomed. I think it is but I will let you decide.
My followers with blog sites remained the same in 2014. Check the link above for a listing. Many thanks for following my blog if you are still out there. I added two email followers for a total of four. One is a friend back in Pennsylvania. Kathryn, sorry for the PTSD problems that my post called Blues on Wheels caused. All of us former postal employees have the same memories. There is a local birder following me. Henri I recognized your email address. Thank you for checking out my blog. Alison, you are still my number one commentator, Le fael!
Wrap Up 4–What's Next. The link to 2013 is here. What's Next was sort of a projection of what I would accomplish in 2014. Some of my projections actually happened. This blog was continued. Many of the projects around the house got done with some of them being a work in progress. Rat, squirrel, and mouse proofing under the house got done. It wasn't a pleasant project. An old rotten fence got taken down and is part of a landscaping project still ongoing. Renewed an old interest in butterflies. My efforts to make California State Parks here in Mendocino County more friendly to bike riders will get done, hopefully soon. Hooded Merganser/Wood Duck nest boxes didn't get done but are still planned. I did get one bird house for swallows done. Of course it was made out of recycled material. Working on my photography was started but was limited. Getting caught up with my reading material didn't happen. Keeping most of my birding within a local count circle around my home is still being contemplated. Taking pictures of Happy birds is an ongoing project. This is the most elevated Fox Sparrow I have ever seen. Happy New Year!