Outdoor Ontario

Discussion => General Discussions => Topic started by: Dinusaur on January 16, 2014, 07:55:06 pm

Title: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 16, 2014, 07:55:06 pm
The other day I had some time to kill; so I decided to create a life list for birds that I have been photographing since the middle of 2012 when I first acquired my Nikon D7000 and a 70-300mm lens at Henry’s photo show in Toronto. Since then I upgraded my equipment in never ending search of better pictures; however, the fundamentals remained the same. The excitement of finding and identifying a bird for the first time is greatly satisfying.  It also has its health benefit; you tend to walk around a lot especially if you happen to be at Leslie Spit.

I first heard about the word ‘lifer’ or ‘life list’ sometime in 2013 during a photo shoot of diving Ospreys; a couple of birders around me were talking about it. Later I clarified through Google that they were talking not about jailbirds but the actual wild birds seen and identified for the fist time. I decided to follow the suit – photograph and identify as many new species of birds as possible.
 
According to Wikipedia there are about 478 bird species found in Ontario, of which 291 species are known to breed here. How many have made my lifer list so far? With a little help from some of you on this website in identifying the birds I have managed to add a total of 118 species of birds to my life list in little over year and half. Not bad for a casual birder. Of these 118, 82 species are photographed in Ontario (honestly it’s just in and around GTA). I have also added another 36 species outside of Ontario, half of which are found here at different times of the year though I haven’t seen them yet.
 
Like any life list my initial list grew fast when I first put up the feeder at the backyard. 21 new species in a little over 4 months. The other times I saw more species in shorter span of time were when I made trips to Las Vegas (16 in 4 days) and Aruba (20 in 5 days). I am slowly building my list; let’s see what the spring begins.

Why not share your life list if you have any?

Cheers
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Henrique Pacheco on January 16, 2014, 08:13:30 pm
I enjoy having a life list. It's one of the many fun things of birding. Currently I'm at 199 for North America. For 200 I'm thinking about seeing that Heermans Gull in Hamilton or the Great Grey in Whitby.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Trillian Flummox on January 16, 2014, 09:02:42 pm
When I think about my list, I like to remember a conversation I had last spring on the ferry to Ward's Island. This birder expressed envy that I still had so many lifers to look forward to, for his own list was so large that getting a new "lifer" had become a rare occurrence indeed. So although I love the thrill of seeing a new bird, there is only one first time for each. As your life list grows, the list of remaining birds shrinks - such an obvious equation, but it has made me try to more fully appreciate the experience of each one when it happens. Ok, sorry if that's starting to sound a little Zen! lol.  

-kris ito

Oops, forgot to add my own number! It's 241, with most found in the Toronto area since I rarely get to travel.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Reuven_M on January 16, 2014, 10:15:14 pm
I've seen 295 species in Ontario with another 40-odd from a childhood trip to Western Europe. Lifers are not all created equal - my first Great Gray Owl this summer was an incredible experience - after tramping through dense forest and wet meadows we came upon the owl and were able to watch it for quite some time as it preened and hunted. The Elegant Tern at Fort Erie was the complete opposite - we walked up to a crowd of people watching the barely identifiable bird across the river, and I probably spent less than ten minutes looking at it.

There's not much that compares to the first few good migration days I experienced - seeing 10 or 20 birds you've never seen before in a morning is an awesome feeling.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: mc on January 17, 2014, 12:03:59 am
i like to muse about...........spring.........noticing a starling's beak change....hearing a red winged blackbird....spotting a grackle.......but, ahh....a ROBIN!!
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Trillian Flummox on January 17, 2014, 07:14:54 am
Reuven really nailed it with "lifers are not all created equal". There is only limited satisfaction (for me) in ticking off the rare bird that is well publicized and constantly surrounded by the masses. Conversely there is great joy in finding the bird that you have to work hard for, or one that simply appears unexpectedly like a gift. These are the ones you will remember with most clarity.

-kris
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Rob'in'To on January 17, 2014, 08:12:59 am
Kris and Reuven both share my feelings on the life list.

I never gave it much thought over the years and only after talking to some 9 year olds at a banding station and the one's comment, which made me laugh out loud in a good way...  "I've seen 247 species of birds in my day.  I think that's pretty respectable for a 9 year old."  It got myself and Angie thinking.  I'm just over 200 species, not remembering the exact number or if I'm missing any, but also not really caring too much either.

I'm not much of a ticker.  Sure I would like to see new birds but won't go crazy for it.  And it is about the moment, preferring the zen, a peaceful and memorable one.

Funny my Great Gray moment is similar to Reuven's.  It was Thanksgiving weekend in 2012.  We were invited an opportunity to hopefully see one but with no guarantee of course, up Algonquin way.  Four of us left in the wee early hours of the morning, or more like the middle of the night, to be in the park for shortly after 7am.  The weather was sketchy the whole way up.  And once we hit Huntsville, it was really heavy snow.  A bit of searching after we met our friend in the park, we finally spotted the Owl some ways out in a bog.  But the snow was so heavy and big, we could barely make the bird out, not to mention it was still rather dark.  10 minutes of wishing and hoping we could get a better view, the snow stopped, the skies opened up and we were blessed with a beautiful landscape of snow covered branches and one Great Gray Owl amongst it.

(http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/lilevl13/verynicegreat_zpse46625b2.jpg) (http://s280.photobucket.com/user/lilevl13/media/verynicegreat_zpse46625b2.jpg.html)

I have a few great memories of first bird sightings.  First Scarlet Tanager was brought out in front of me in High Park thanks to an aggressive Northern Cardinal chasing it.  My first Black-billed Cuckoo was Spring migration in the Humber Arboretum, I was all alone and had no one to share it with.  Funny he too was being beat on by other birds, this time a pair of Baltimore Orioles.  The Cuckoo finally got a time out on an open tree branch just above me.

I can't think of too many not as great lifer moments but I'm sure there are a few in the back of my brain.

So yes to a life list and enjoy it as it grows.   :D
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: paul_reeves on January 17, 2014, 08:53:49 am
I started birding in the late summer of 2011 when I photographed a male Goldfinch feeding a juvenile and asked myself "I wonder how many other kinds of birds are out there".

Photography has been my passion for 30 years so when I learned about Life Lists, I decided my list would have to be birds I have successfully photographed and posted on my website http://www.paulreeves.ca/html/nature/birds/birds.html. Two and a half years later that list is now 225 birds. But for me it is as much about watching and enjoying birds as it is getting a new bird. I will admit that I really, REALLY want to get a photo of a Short-eared Owl, but I also really enjoy watching the antics of a flock of House Sparrows or Chickadees.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Pat Hodgson on January 17, 2014, 09:23:34 am
I use software (Avisys, I do recommend it) for listing since it is so easy to look things up, generate reports, etc.  I have 284 in Ontario, 567 in the "ABA Area" (Canada plus US minus Hawaii) and 1248 worldwide.  I am at the stage where I have to get out of North America to see more than one or two lifers in a day (except Alaska and Pacific Ocean pelagics).  The lifers come very very slowly now when not travelling.  In fact, I can easily see that I have only got 5 lifers within Ontario in the last decade.  I do not chase everything in Ontario just to build the list, especially if I have seen the bird elsewhere.  My main birding goal is to see all the breeding birds of North America.  I do miss being able to find a new thing near home, but it is inevitable that it will happen this way.  This is why many take on a challenge of a yard list or county list, to have something to try for without all the travel.   Of course I love to travel also!
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Rotarran on January 17, 2014, 10:57:01 am
I started about 1 year ago (January 12 2013) and so far have seen 254 species of birds in Ontario and 282 worldwide (from a trip to Eastern Europe in August).  I am a bit competitive so I did get into the species counting very quickly.  But that was only for 2013.  This year I have decided to take it easy and just visit local parks including Charles Sauriol, Downsview, Rosetta McLain..etc and be content with whatever I see.  Chasing birds in 2013 was thrilling and exciting but it was also draining and stressful.  I just couldn't keep going on indefinitely.  But it was an amazing experience and I discovered so many different places that I want to go back to and share with my family and friends.  

I also gave myself the extra challenge of photographing every species that I see for the first time...otherwise I wouldn't count seeing it.  I succeeded in photographing 280 species but missed out on a couple of them including:
- American Woodcock...I did get a fleeting video of it, however, and also audio of its distinctive peent.  It wasn't a photograph, but I figured it was close enough.
- Ruffed Grouse...I only had a couple of encounters with the Ruffed Grouse and only once did I have a camera on it (at Algonquin) but it disappeared before I got the shot.  Then the ice storms hit, we didn't have power for close to a week and I simply couldn't go back so I thought I'd break my own rule for this one elusive bird because of these special circumstances.    It was there at the feeders every day and I'm sure I would have gotten it if I went back.  Sometimes life gets in the way of certain goals and rules and you just have to accept it and move on.

Well we'll see what Toronto's parks have to offer this year.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 17, 2014, 07:10:25 pm
Speaking of lifers not created equal. The least exciting are the taxonomical lifers, like when the Common Moorhen split into Common Gallinule and Eurasian Moorhen I got an extra lifer without seeing any new bird...just an old observation becoming a lifer several years later.

My life list (according to the taxonomy in e-Bird) is currently at 597, Ontario at 273, North America at 280, Europe at 311 and Africa at 190.

I got 9 new lifers last year, all in Ontario: Townsend's Solitaire, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Great Horned Owl, Clay-colored Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Least Bittern, Sora, Purple Sandpiper and Elegant Tern.

/Thomas
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 17, 2014, 08:12:56 pm
What a great reading this has been; please keep them coming. Photographing adds a new dimension to life list; even when you don't find a new lifer you still go out hoping to better the last picture of the bird you took.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Bluffs Birder on January 18, 2014, 12:25:57 am
According to the Ontario Bird Records Committee checklist (http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/checklist.checklist), there have been 487 birds accepted as 'Ontario' birds.  A few more are sure to be added to that list from 2013 including the Brown Booby and Elegant Tern.

Although I've always been interested in birds and nature in general, it wasn't until the Fall of 2007 that things really took-off for me.  Due to other hobbies that I had prior to birding, the 'listing' came naturally.  I learned years ago that keeping data logs was not only useful but also helped to keep my interest piqued.

Here is where I am for the province:
Ontario 'Lifer' Birds - 280 (plus 1 not recognized as yet)
Local Park Birds - 177 (Rosetta McClain Gardens, Scarborough)
Backyard Birds - 87
Photographed Birds - 214 (plus 1 not recognized as yet)
Year Birds - 29 (only one outing so far in 2014 but got 2 lifers!)

Not including my first year where everything was new and a 'Lifer', my best year so far was 2012 with 233 birds observed and 32 lifers.

Happy birding!
Walter :)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Rotarran on January 18, 2014, 11:14:33 am
Quote from: "thouc"
Speaking of lifers not created equal. The least exciting are the taxonomical lifers, like when the Common Moorhen split into Common Gallinule and Eurasian Moorhen I got an extra lifer without seeing any new bird...just an old observation becoming a lifer several years later.
/Thomas

That's interesting.  Conversely you could have species taken away through the merging of two species into one.  I think they're considering that for the Glaucous Gull if I'm not mistaken and merging it with the Herring Gull.  But I might be remembering it wrong so feel free to correct me. I can't remember where I read it and I can't find the site now but I'm fairly certain it involves the Glaucous Gull and eliminating it as a full species and reducing it to only a sub-species.  In any case for this reason I've been rather lackadaisical in my efforts to see the Glaucous Gull.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 18, 2014, 11:58:19 am
Gull taxonomy is very complex, but the Glaucous Gull is very distinct from Herring Gull (much larger and different plumage) and I haven't heard of talks of merging the two. Thayer's Gull, however, might be merged with Iceland Gull (and was previously treated as a subspecies of Herring Gull).

Article from British bird about the taxonomy of the Herring Gull/Lesser Black-backed Gull complex: http://www.britishbirds.co.uk/search?model=pdf&id=9395
Among other things stating that (European) Herring Gull and American Herring Gull are not particularly closely related and should be treated as different species. This has been implemented in Europe, but not in America. Also states the Palearctic (Europe, Asia) and Nearctic (North America) Glaucous Gulls aren't closely related.

Article about the status of the Thayer's Gull: http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/articles.thayer
Suggesting that Thayer's Gull should be merged with Iceland Gull.

Summary of taxonomy in Thayer's Gull: http://www.hbw.com/species/thayers-gull-larus-thayeri
Noting that merging Thayer's Gull and Iceland Gull would cause problems, haven't found a more detailed source for the reason behind it.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Rotarran on January 18, 2014, 01:19:58 pm
Ah yes that's exactly it.  Thayer's Gull and Iceland Gull.  Sorry for the mixup  :oops:

I guess I better get out and see a Glaucous Gull.   :D

Sorry for the dragging this off-topic.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: American Redstart on January 18, 2014, 04:17:51 pm
Seeing a new bird is always an extremely happy moment.
Getting your list to climb is always nice, but just watching that bird that you've never seen in your life is a spark.
My lifelist is currently at 252 species.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Leslie Kinrys on January 19, 2014, 08:43:53 pm
Adding new birds to my life list is always a thrill. Although, seeing birds again, like the Great Gray Owl today, is also wonderful. I have to agree with Reuven that it is super to find something on your own. Often I'm chasing one bird, and instead, I find another bird on my most wanted list.

I have 278 species on my Ontario list. My North American list is at 496 species. (One of my goals this year is to break 500 for North America.) My life list is at 638 species.

Happy new year to all. I hope there are lots of great bird sightings for all of us in 2014.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dr. John on January 20, 2014, 06:42:45 pm
Although my wife and I do record every species we see, we have no idea what the total number is. I think we are more thrilled by the individual experiences and are less interested in the numbers. So we can end up spending a bird watching walk focusing on a bird we have seen many times before that is doing someting interesting, rather than scouring the territory for something we have not yet seen.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Brian Bailey on January 20, 2014, 10:41:50 pm
This topic has certainly spawned an active discussion!  I have no idea what my life list total is, but I'd guess it's closing in on 1000.  The majority of those would be from outside North America.  I completely agree with several others that not all lifers are created equal.  Some are burned permanently in my memory, but many more are totally forgotten.  Much depends on the circumstances, the bird, the location, and even who you were with.

25 years ago, I was a dedicated lister.  I documented every birding excursion and could tell anyone willing to listen, exactly what my year and life list totals were at any time.  There were several factors that made me stop.  One was the time required to manually record it all, but another was the realization that I was becoming a slave to the list.  I would go places that had the best listing potential rather than ones that might actually be more interesting or provide great viewing opportunities for only a few species.  The thing that really "cured" me from listing was travel:  enjoy the moment and don't worry that you just missed 5 lifers that you may never have the opportunity to see again!

Lately, I have fallen off the "non-lister" wagon and started using eBird.  I still don't fret about the numbers, but it seems like a worthwhile exercise when the observations become part of a public database instead of sitting in a filing cabinet.  I think the database is important.  I've seen significant changes in bird populations in the time I've been birding.  I see the value of a database, rather than just my feeble memory for tracking those things.

BB
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Leslie on January 21, 2014, 09:52:45 am
I don't keep a formal life list, but I do keep a yard list.
The first year (1990) it was just a species list, but after (yet another) visit to Algonquin Park & inspired by the checklist, my family & I recorded the first sighting of the spring/fall migration.
Life gets in the way, & our commitment & skills varied over the years, but we do have 78 species on the list.
Twenty years later I was so glad I did.
In 2009 the City of Toronto produced a study of migratory stopover habitat using TOC data 1990-2007, and a developer wanting to build in much of the ravine (the north border of Lithuania Park, a block north of High Park) appealed to the OMB.  I was able to use my yard list to show the ravine in its current state served an ecological function.  (The OMB denied the appeals, not solely or even mainly on my yard list.)
I should say I believe my yard list to be accurate, if incomplete (eg warblers).  I save my wild speculations and fond hopes for this board, where I can be wrong and know I can rely on the kindness of strangers for a reality check.  You've never let me down.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 18, 2015, 08:38:36 pm
Just about a year ago I started this thread - it is time to review where we stand and how much fun we had growing the list.

As the year went by I went around photographing birds and adding to my life list at every opportunity I got. It has been a fun journey despite being branded 'bird crazy' by my wife and daughter. My first introduction to spring migration in the months of April and May last year produced 39 lifers and a series of some very colorful photographs. I came to know a little bit about warblers, vireos, flycatchers and their allies. Together with many successful trips I also made quite a few abortive ones in search of that one elusive bird (e.g. Prothonotary Warbler in Thickson Woods) - no regrets. Through some of the contributors in this site I found that wonderful place called Carden Alvar. I even waded through lake Ontario to get to Gull Island in search of a special few. Then towards the end of the year a two week social visit to India produced an incredible 78 lifers. My total now stands at 280, of which 167 were in Ontario. It is fun and this continuous search kept me in shape. As rime progresses, instead of looking for new lifers I will be musing more and more over some of the mysteries e.g. why there's no more house sparrows or Baya Weaver in my ancestral village despite abundance of grains and palm trees. The village myth attributes this to newly erected cell towers - I don't think that adds up. Anyway, enjoy the rest of the year going out birding.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: JW Mills on January 26, 2015, 12:46:46 pm
My life list consists of about 250 birds, all from Ontario and BC. I've been at it so long that a lifer isn't that exciting anymore. I get more joy when my gf adds a lifer than when I do. It's almost to the point where a lifer is a tick in the back of my old Golden Guide. I still enjoy going out and seeing birds as much as I used to, its just that adding a lifer doesn't seem to have the significance it once did.
 
As an aside, Rotarren noted that you could have species taken away through the merging of two species. That has happened three times to me;
Oregon Junco and Slate-coloured Junco now Dark-eyed Junco
Audubon and Myrtle Warblers now Yellow-rumped
Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted Flickers now Northern Flicker
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Rotarran on January 26, 2015, 07:52:42 pm
Quote from: "zed"
My life list consists of about 250 birds, all from Ontario and BC. I've been at it so long that a lifer isn't that exciting anymore. I get more joy when my gf adds a lifer than when I do. It's almost to the point where a lifer is a tick in the back of my old Golden Guide. I still enjoy going out and seeing birds as much as I used to, its just that adding a lifer doesn't seem to have the significance it once did.
 
As an aside, Rotarren noted that you could have species taken away through the merging of two species. That has happened three times to me;
Oregon Junco and Slate-coloured Junco now Dark-eyed Junco
Audubon and Myrtle Warblers now Yellow-rumped
Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted Flickers now Northern Flicker

Hmmm...that's interesting.  How did that make you feel?  When I get a lifer, I feel happy, but to have one taken away due to some species/subspecies technicality would probably illicit less joyful feelings.

But since that has never happened to me before, I don't know exactly how I'd feel.  I might be annoyed or completely indifferent or maybe even glad for the advancement of ornithology, which is, after all, the study of birds.  

To date I have seen 358 species including 301 in Canada (Ontario only) but also quite a few in Cuba as well as in Eastern Europe.  I go with a hybrid approach.  I like listing and getting lifers but I also love getting out in nature, seeing old friends again even if they're common (Chickadees, Long-tailed Ducks) and looking for some of my favourites that I've seen previously (Snow Buntings for example).  And I carry my camera around everywhere and always try to take good pictures if the opportunity presents itself.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Reuven_M on January 26, 2015, 08:35:29 pm
In the year since I last posted here I've added 8 species bringing my Ontario list to 303.
4 I chased (Piping Plover, Varied Thrush, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Eared Grebe)
4 I found myself (Neotropic Cormorant, Lark Bunting, Lark Sparrow, Laughing Gull).
The latter four certainly feel a lot better, especially as they were number 298, 299, 300 and 301 for my Ontario list!

In terms of subspecies/species issues, I try (with varying success) to be just as interested in a distinctive unique taxon regardless of whether it meet some definition of species (which is an incredibly fuzzy concept to begin with). One of my most wanted birds for Ontario is Hornemann's Redpoll, even though it's currently classified as a subspecies of Hoary. If only I could make eBird display a life list with distinctive subspecies marked as separate!
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 28, 2015, 08:16:39 pm
300+ Ontario lifers - what a great achievement. Something to strive for. Cheers
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 28, 2015, 11:27:15 pm
I'm closing in on the 300. 12 new Ontario birds last year and 1 so far this year has gotten me up to 286.

Lifers last year: Varied Thrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Sedge Wren, Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, Nelson's Sparrow, Painted Bunting
Lifer this year: Evening Grosbeak
New for Ontario last year: Great Gray Owl, Long-eared Owl, Laughing Gull, Red Knot, Black Vulture, Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Henrique Pacheco on January 29, 2015, 04:42:28 pm
Last year I was a couple away from 200. Coincidentally, I'm currently tied with thouc at 286. I'm closing in on 300 and some birds should be easy to get. The easiest lifers for me would be Carolina Wren, Laughing Gull, American White Pelican, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Olive-Sided Flycatcher. But of course, nothing goes to plan. Who knows, maybe the next mega will be my 300th  :wink: .
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Reuven_M on January 29, 2015, 09:03:58 pm
286 without Carolina Wren, they must be avoiding you deliberately! It took me 4-5 between 200 and 300 so that's pretty awesome.
I've cleaned up most things that are very likely without twitching now, Le Conte's and Nelson's Sparrow are about the only I can reasonably expect to find without lots of travel or lots of shorebirding. I've really stopped much twitching recently, but that may change as the time between lifers increases!
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Rotarran on January 29, 2015, 10:57:37 pm
Quote from: "Henrique Pacheco"
Last year I was a couple away from 200. Coincidentally, I'm currently tied with thouc at 286. I'm closing in on 300 and some birds should be easy to get. The easiest lifers for me would be Carolina Wren, Laughing Gull, American White Pelican, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Olive-Sided Flycatcher. But of course, nothing goes to plan. Who knows, maybe the next mega will be my 300th  :wink: .

Carolinas were singing loudly on Sunday at the Woodland Cemetary in Hamilton.  It's near that cliff that overlooks the bay...not far from one of the Screechies.

Coincidentally I planned for my 300th to be the Boreal Chickadee, a bird that I personally hand-picked to be #300 based on which lifers were available at the time, how easy it would be to get and also based on my own personal affection for these enchanting little titmice.  

And then I found out that I messed up on the Glaucous Gull and the Boreal Chickadee dropped to #299.  Oh well, it's ok...my number one priority is to have a clean list and truthful reports.  The White-winged Crossbill became #300 then but that's also a very interesting and cool bird...it is my only lifer of 2015 so far.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Walter Fisher on January 29, 2015, 11:35:24 pm
Hey Henrique,

A Carolina Wren is a fairly easy find at Rosetta McClain Gardens and also Guildwood Park early most mornings especially come springtime.  They love to fly up to the top edge of the bluffs and sing their hearts out.  Another place I've had success is LaSalle Marina in Burlington along the path.  Watch ebird, of course.  Good luck!

Walter :)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 29, 2015, 11:47:24 pm
According to the new eBird "Target" function, the easiest 20 new Ontario birds for me to find in Ontario, with highest probability first, would be:
Pine Grosbeak, Gray Jay, Hoary Redpoll, Boreal Chickadee, Lapland Longspur, Hooded Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Red Crossbill, Black-billed Magpie, Le Conte's Sparrow, Thayer's Gull, Brewer's Blackbird, Yellow-breasted Chat, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Spruce Grouse, Barrow's Goldeneye, Summer Tanager, Connecticut Warbler, Northern Hawk Owl and Arctic Tern.

As you can tell I haven't done much birding up north.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Henrique Pacheco on January 30, 2015, 07:23:30 pm
Thanks Walter. I know many places where they show up. I've heard them countless times but for some odd reason, I can't even get a glimpse of one. Oh well. The time will come...  :roll:

Thouc, there's been some reliable hoary's at the tip of tommy Thompson park at peninsula A (if you're willing to walk). Also an easier lifer for you would be the Thayer's down at Bluffers. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't still be there. Good luck!
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 30, 2015, 08:28:01 pm
Thanks Henrique,
I'm aware of those sightings, but I'm mostly able to bird in the west end.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Walter Fisher on February 02, 2015, 09:25:06 pm
Just noticed that this thread has been active for more than a year now and my earlier post needs an update.

Ontario 'Lifer' Birds - 293 (added: Barrow's Goldeneye, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Pectoral Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Chuck-will's-widow, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Sedge Wren, Connecticut Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Lark Bunting, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, and the Brown Booby from 2013).

Walter :)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Pat Hodgson on February 26, 2015, 11:41:30 am
I had some great travel last year and was behind on data entry.  Still am behind because I was in Korea in January, but at least all of 2014 is done.

I am at 98 on the yard list (midtown Toronto), having added pileated woodpecker last year.
I am at 286 for Ontario, having picked up only one last year (the very cooperative least bittern at Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke).
I am at 573 for the ABA area, having picked up 6 in Arizona.
I am at 1656 total, having picked up 393 in Colombia, 12 in Mexico, and 3 in Arizona (Leconte's thrasher, Bendire's thrasher, rosy-faced lovebird).

All lifers are definitely not equal.  The sheer volume in Colombia was so overwhelming that to be honest some are just check marks on a page at this point 7 months later.  Others stand out very strongly of course - black-billed mountain-toucan, sword-billed hummingbird, gold-ringed tanager, etc.  Saw 61 species of hummingbirds on that trip, 544 total species, in 3 weeks.  Go if you can, but probably best not to go there first, general advice with Neotropics to start north (Mexico or Belize) and gradually work south is good advice, that way you gradually learn the families before the biodiversity gets out of hand.  I probably should have done something like Costa Rica before Colombia, but did not.  I'm not suffering here, of course, but Colombia was overwhelming in terms of bird numbers.  I studied like crazy in advance and was still having tons of "what the heck is that?" moments.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 06, 2016, 06:29:02 pm
It is time to update the list from 2015 sightings. My total lifer count is now 343, the year before it was 278. Two trips to south (Jamaica and Mexico) contributed 25 in my 2015 list. My Ontario lifers count is now 203 - a year ago it was 168;  35  new were added in 2015. Some notables from this year are: Harris's Sparrow in Oakville, Kentucky Warbler in Colonel Sam Smith Park, Wilson's and Piping Plover in Toronto Islands, Sedge Wren and Common Nighthawk in Carden Alvar, Clay-colored Sparrow and Wilson's Phalarope in Leslie Spit, Whimbrel and White-rumped Sandpiper in Presqui'le, Winter Wren and Vesper Sparrow in Downsview Park, and Tufted Titmouse in Dufferin Islands. In between I also missed the opportunity of seeing a Cave Swallow in Oakville, my two visits to Sedgewick was in vain. I also saw a Painted Bunting in Oakville and a  female Mountain Blue Bird in Whitby. Do they count as lifers or vagrants?

All in all it was a good year and I hope to continue the same stride this year.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Reuven_M on January 06, 2016, 07:09:26 pm
Since last January I've added 118 species:

1 in Quebec (Black Guillemot)

108 in Portugal and Spain (2 week in late October/early November). Some of the birds added are species that show up somewhat regularly in Ontario, including Red Knot, Razorbill, Northern Gannet, Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Eurasian Collared-dove and Northern Wheatear

9 in Ontario including:

My life list is now 421 with 312 in Ontario.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 06, 2016, 09:03:20 pm
Quote from: "Dinusaur"
I also saw a Painted Bunting in Oakville and a  female Mountain Blue Bird in Whitby. Do they count as lifers or vagrants?

They should count on your life and Ontario lists as they are not considered escapees.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 06, 2016, 09:10:03 pm
My Life list is now at 611 and Ontario at 295 (can hopefully reach 300 this year)

New Ontario species 2015
Evening Grosbeak (lifer) - Toronto
Hoary Redpoll - Mississauga
Kentucky Warbler (lifer) - Toronto
Swainson's Warbler (lifer) - Toronto
Wilson's Plover (lifer) - Toronto
Snowy Egret (lifer) - Hamilton
Neotropic Cormorant (lifer) - Toronto
Cave Swallow (lifer) - Oakville
Glossy Ibis - Oshawa
Red Phalarope (lifer) - Oakville

So 10 new species added to my Ontario list without travelling very far.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Reuven_M on January 07, 2016, 09:23:30 am
Quote from: "thouc"
Quote from: "Dinusaur"
I also saw a Painted Bunting in Oakville and a  female Mountain Blue Bird in Whitby. Do they count as lifers or vagrants?

They should count on your life and Ontario lists as they are not considered escapees.

Many people believe the Painted Bunting to be an escape due to the breast colouration and some foot damage, and it was not accepted by the OBRC
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Pat Hodgson on January 07, 2016, 09:27:49 am
Quote from: "thouc"
Quote from: "Dinusaur"
I also saw a Painted Bunting in Oakville and a  female Mountain Blue Bird in Whitby. Do they count as lifers or vagrants?

They should count on your life and Ontario lists as they are not considered escapees.

The painted bunting in Oakville in January, 2015 was not accepted as a wild bird by the OBRC.  If you wish to have your list clean of not-accepted records, you should not count that bird.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Rotarran on January 07, 2016, 10:03:45 am
My life list is 392 with birds seen in Canada, USA, Cuba, Germany, Romania and Hungary.

My Ontario list is at 318 and Toronto at 218.

Recently I've stopped chasing birds and focused more on local birding. My reasoning was that if I spend hours and hours chasing birds around Ontario, I'll miss many interesting sightings in my local area.

I still try for close-by rarities such as the the Barrows Goldeneye a little while ago or the Townsends Solitaire which I tried for last night (but didn't get), but I don't rush to see them.

I'm just pleased with whatever story nature will show me. Even seeing nothing is a notable story.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Henrique Pacheco on January 07, 2016, 08:19:55 pm
With almost a year since my last update, I am pleased to say my Ontario life list has grown from 286 to 326. I also went to Panama this past summer and added another 191 lifers. It's been a good past year. I've also been able to bird with quite a few of you too.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 09, 2016, 10:29:41 am
Those of you who have already achieved or nearing 300 target of Ontario bird species - congrats. That's more than half of the number of species found in Ontario - a truly great effort. It only gets tougher from here on; however, that is the fun part. Indeed, life list is not the whole thing - sometimes, as Elias described, looking for birds in local areas is equally rewarding. He, through his continued vigilance in later half of 2015, has made Downsview Park species count going above 150. However, the possibility of finding new species in far away lands is very enticing; particularly when you find 191 species in Panama, 108 in Portugal and Spain and whopping 363 in Columbia. I am putting these countries in my bucket list, the only problem is my bucket list may not necessarily agree with my wife's list (she maintains a different kind of list than a life list) and also have to convince her that Columbia may be as safe, if not safer than our Yonge Dundas square.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Pat Hodgson on January 11, 2016, 03:18:58 pm
Quote from: "Dinusaur"
, the only problem is my bucket list may not necessarily agree with my wife's list

This is actually a serious issue, requiring much thought.  The NBSP (non-birding spouse) can be talked into certain destinations much easier than others.  Costa Rica is probably a much easier sell than Colombia.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Pat Hodgson on January 11, 2016, 03:40:19 pm
For 2015:

yard list: 99 +1 for red-bellied woodpecker
Ontario list: 290 +5 Swainson's warbler, piping plover, Wilson's plover, whimbrel (filling a hole there!), mountain bluebird, I'm not counting painted bunting from Oakville
ABA area (that's Canada plus US 49 states not Hawaii): 575 +2 Baird's sparrow and dusky grouse in Alberta
world total*: 1878 +222 41 South Korea, 1 North Korea (I was in the south by about 20m at Panmunjom in the DMZ but the bird, cinereous vulture, was well inside North Korea when I first saw it!), 7 Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands, 167 Peru, 2 Alberta as above, 3 Slovenia, 1 Italy

* total is a bit higher than an ABA-compliant total might be, I have counted a couple of new species and splits that are not official yet
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 11, 2016, 07:44:55 pm
Quote from: "Pat Hodgson"
Quote from: "Dinusaur"
...Costa Rica is probably a much easier sell than Colombia.

Thanks for the suggestion Pat - yes Costa Rica is probably be next when opportunity arrives. Are you a world traveler or what? You have collected an amazing number of species from around the world. Happy Birding.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Reuven_M on January 11, 2016, 07:52:40 pm
As this thread is still active I thought I'd add that I got four lifers over the weekend in a whirlwind trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin: Ivory Gull, Gyrfalcon, Black-billed Magpie and Lewis's Woodpecker.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Walter Fisher on January 11, 2016, 11:00:44 pm
Time for an update to my last update...

Ontario 'Lifer' Birds - 305 (2015 additions: Neotropic Cormorant, White-faced Ibis, Wilson's Plover, Piping Plover, Willet, Red Knot, Wilson's Phalarope, Eurasian Collard-Dove, Black-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Vireo, Harris' Sparrow, and Western Meadowlark).
Local Park Birds - 189 (2015 additions: Black-billed Cuckoo and Tufted Titmouse).  Rosetta McClain Gardens, Toronto
Backyard Birds - 104 (2015 additions: Eastern Screech-owl, Common Raven, Gray-cheeked Thrush, and Bay-breasted Warbler).

Good birding,
Walter :)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: JW Mills on January 12, 2016, 10:40:52 am
I'm not really sure what my total is now. When I started birding in BC I would just tick off the birds in the back of my Golden Guide, the total there is about 250. In 2014 I started using eBird, the total there is 226. Neither list is complete as I stopped ticking off birds in the guide sometime after I started using eBird and eBird only includes Ontario birds.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: winz on January 12, 2016, 03:15:32 pm
Quote from: "JW Mills"
I'm not really sure what my total is now. When I started birding in BC I would just tick off the birds in the back of my Golden Guide, the total there is about 250. In 2014 I started using eBird, the total there is 226. Neither list is complete as I stopped ticking off birds in the guide sometime after I started using eBird and eBird only includes Ontario birds.

eBird is not only for Ontario Birds.  You can enter information for anywhere in the world that you have birded.  You can enter historical information if you have the date and the location.
I added quite a number of birds to my lists last year, since I was able to bird in Jamaica and California, along with trips to Point Pelee National Park, Carden Alvar and Presqu'ile Provincial Park
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: GStuart on January 12, 2016, 03:25:24 pm
Surprising to me, I managed to add six birds to my Ontario list this year.

Swainson's Warbler; Tommy Thompson Park--Wet Woods - 18 May 2015
Wilson's Plover; Toronto--Toronto Islands (Hanlan's Point) - 29 May 2015
Little Egret; Ottawa--Britannia Conservation Area (Filtration Plant/Point) - 26 Jun 2015
Pink-footed Goose; Lafleche Landfill - 04 Nov 2015
Bullock's Oriole; stakeout Bullock's Oriole, Pakenham - 01 Dec 2015
Vermilion Flycatcher; stakeout Vermilion Flycatcher, Wallaceburg--Nelson St - 22 Dec 2015
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: winz on January 12, 2016, 03:34:31 pm
Quote from: Pat Hodgson
For 2015:

yard list: 99 +1 for red-bellied woodpecker
Ontario list: 290 +5 Swainson's warbler, piping plover, Wilson's plover, whimbrel (filling a hole there!), mountain bluebird, I'm not counting painted bunting from Oakville

I counted the Painted Bunting in Oakville.  Is it considered an escapee?
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Pat Hodgson on January 12, 2016, 04:12:54 pm
Quote from: "winz"

I counted the Painted Bunting in Oakville.  Is it considered an escapee?

In a nutshell, yes.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: JW Mills on January 12, 2016, 05:26:42 pm
Quote from: "winz"
Quote from: "JW Mills"
I'm not really sure what my total is now. When I started birding in BC I would just tick off the birds in the back of my Golden Guide, the total there is about 250. In 2014 I started using eBird, the total there is 226. Neither list is complete as I stopped ticking off birds in the guide sometime after I started using eBird and eBird only includes Ontario birds.

eBird is not only for Ontario Birds.  You can enter information for anywhere in the world that you have birded.  You can enter historical information if you have the date and the location.
I added quite a number of birds to my lists last year, since I was able to bird in Jamaica and California, along with trips to Point Pelee National Park, Carden Alvar and Presqu'ile Provincial Park

Thanks, yes I know about that.
So far all my birding has been in Ontario and BC. I'm probably the only birder that is not interested in seeing birds from other countries!
You can actually enter your historical info for life-list purposes even if you don't have date and location, eBird has a protocol for that. It's just that I'm not too concerned about adding the old stuff from BC.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Walter Fisher on January 12, 2016, 08:02:54 pm
Quote
I'm probably the only birder that is not interested in seeing birds from other countries!

You and me both my friend!  The only bird I've ever 'noticed' outside of Canada was Brown Pelican in Mexico many years ago.

Walter :)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 18, 2016, 11:28:26 am
Quote from: "Pat Hodgson"
Quote from: "winz"

I counted the Painted Bunting in Oakville.  Is it considered an escapee?

In a nutshell, yes.

I keep track of my records in e-Bird and as far as I know it's lacking a functionality to mark an observation as an escapee or otherwise not countable on the lists. I think escapees should be reported on e-Bird to track their prevalence, if they are becoming established etc.

I guess my official total is down to 294 then even if my e-Bird list is 295.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Brian Bailey on January 19, 2016, 01:06:44 pm
Quote
I'm probably the only birder that is not interested in seeing birds from other countries!
You are missing out on one of the most fascinating aspects of birding!  And it's not about the list - it's about observing birds and behavior.  Depending on how far from home you travel, you can see familiar birds in unfamiliar situations, closely related species to the ones you're familiar with, or most interesting:  completely different families of birds filling the same ecological niche.

It could be stressful in some countries, if you have a psychological need to positively identify every bird you see, but if you're willing to let some (many?) go unidentified, it can be a lot of fun.

BB
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: JW Mills on January 19, 2016, 05:50:07 pm
Quote from: "Brian Bailey"
Quote
I'm probably the only birder that is not interested in seeing birds from other countries!
You are missing out on one of the most fascinating aspects of birding!  And it's not about the list - it's about observing birds and behavior.  Depending on how far from home you travel, you can see familiar birds in unfamiliar situations, closely related species to the ones you're familiar with, or most interesting:  completely different families of birds filling the same ecological niche.

It could be stressful in some countries, if you have a psychological need to positively identify every bird you see, but if you're willing to let some (many?) go unidentified, it can be a lot of fun.

BB
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree!
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Leslie Kinrys on February 18, 2016, 03:40:51 pm
We just got back from Arizona. I added Brewer's Sparrow, Mountain Plover, Lark Bunting, Ferruginous Hawk, Le Conte's Thrasher, Rufous-capped Warbler, Sprague's Pipit, Black-capped Gnatcatcher and Elegant Trogon. That takes me up to 539 birds for North America and 680 birds on my life list.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: GStuart on February 18, 2016, 04:09:03 pm
Quote from: "Leslie Kinrys"
Rufous-capped Warbler, Black-capped Gnatcatcher

I've been to Florida Canyon many times and these two have eluded me every single time.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 01, 2017, 07:52:01 pm
I reached my official 300th bird (not counting the Painted Bunting) in Ontario today with the Smith's Longspur down at Long Point. My 5 new birds under 2016 were Dickcissel, Eurasian Collared-Dove (only one not a lifer), Pacific Loon (pretty crappy view, but I take it since it was the at least 8th time I've gone to a location where it had been reported), Le Conte's Sparrow and Lark Sparrow.

/Thomas
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Reuven_M on January 02, 2017, 08:18:22 am
I had 6 new Ontario birds in 2016. I don't twitch much so new birds are very difficult!

Ross's Goose (self-found)
White-winged Dove
Eurasian Collared-dove (seen in Europe previously)
Marbled Godwit
Red Knot (self-found, seen in Europe previously)
Nelson's Sparrow (self-found)

Bringing my Ontario list to 318 and my world list to 429.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Pat Hodgson on January 02, 2017, 09:26:16 am
My new totals from end of year:
Yard: 103 (+4), common raven, tundra swan, indigo bunting, yellow-bellied flycatcher
Ontario: 297 (+7), Eurasian wigeon, Acadian flycatcher, yellow-throated warbler, black vulture, parasitic jaeger, long-tailed jaeger, lark sparrow
ABA area (Canada plus 49 US states ex. HI): 579 (+4), Nanday parakeet in FL, marbled murrelet and greater white-fronted goose in BC, and gain of one from past sightings of western scrub-jay that now include both California scrub-jay (1998) and Woodhouse's scrub-jay (1997)
World: 2055 (+177), all from Peru except for the murrelet and parakeet as above, and a few from splits
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Walter Fisher on January 02, 2017, 04:43:44 pm
Time for an update again...

Ontario Birds - 310 (2016 additions: Cattle Egret, Common Ringed Plover, Stilt Sandpiper, Smith's Longspur, and Yellow-throated Warbler).
Local Park Birds - 194 (2016 additions: Greater White-fronted Goose, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Bonaparte's Gull, and Golden-winged Warbler) at Rosetta McClain Gardens, Toronto
Backyard Birds - 104 (2016 additions: 0!).

Good birding,
Walter :)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 02, 2017, 05:08:09 pm
Yes it is time to update. I have added 30 lifers to my Ontario list and the same number to world list (Vacation to New York City didn't produce anything new). Notables for the year being:  Gyrfalcon, Dickcissel, Yellow-throated Warbler, Common Ringed Plover, Buff Breasted Sandpiper, Le Conte's Sparrow, Barred Owl, and Smith's Longspur. In summary:

Ontario: 233
World: 373.

Still a long way to hit that Ontario 300 mark.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: JW Mills on January 25, 2017, 11:51:55 am
Time for an update since there have been some changes in the last year.
First of all I finally got around to inputting my British Columbia sightings into eBird.
Second, after spending 5 weeks in the Philipinnes my stance on seeing birds in other countries has changed. Now I'm looking forward to seeing more birds on our next trip to the Philippines!
B.C.  101
Ontario 262
Canada  299
Philippines 30
World  325
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: winz on January 25, 2017, 04:49:45 pm
Quote from: "JW Mills"
Time for an update since there have been some changes in the last year.
First of all I finally got around to inputting my British Columbia sightings into eBird.
Second, after spending 5 weeks in the Philipinnes my stance on seeing birds in other countries has changed. Now I'm looking forward to seeing more birds on our next trip to the Philippines!
B.C.  101
Ontario 262
Canada  299
Philippines 30
World  325

5 weeks in the Philippines!! I would settle for 2 weeks.. with about 200 endemics and over 600 resident and migratory birds.. there's lots to see.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: JW Mills on January 25, 2017, 08:17:33 pm
Quote from: "winz"
Quote from: "JW Mills"
Time for an update since there have been some changes in the last year.
First of all I finally got around to inputting my British Columbia sightings into eBird.
Second, after spending 5 weeks in the Philipinnes my stance on seeing birds in other countries has changed. Now I'm looking forward to seeing more birds on our next trip to the Philippines!
B.C.  101
Ontario 262
Canada  299
Philippines 30
World  325

5 weeks in the Philippines!! I would settle for 2 weeks.. with about 200 endemics and over 600 resident and migratory birds.. there's lots to see.
Trouble was with all the family related get-togethers along with Christmas and New Years we only had two half-day trips specifically for birding.
The next trip will be different!
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Leslie Kinrys on June 07, 2017, 08:55:47 pm
We were in Texas and Arizona in the first half of this year. In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, I added Northern Bobwhite, Aplomado Falcon, Red-billed Pigeon, Northern Beardless-Tryannulet, Tropical Parula, Audubon's and Altimira orioles.

In SE-Arizona, I added Scaled and Montezuma Quail, Whiskered Screech-Owl, Lesser Nighthawk, Common Poorwill, Buff-collared Nightjar, Mexican Whip-poor-will, Blue-throated Hummingbird, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Tufted Flycatcher (a rarity), Thick-billed Kingbird, Botteri's Sparrow, Varied Bunting.

This puts me at 563 species for North America. My life list is now at 704 species.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 04, 2018, 12:26:57 pm
I added 9 species to my Ontario list this year, however, one of them disappeared before the end of the year.

Smith's Longspur (lifer)
Thayer's Gull (lifer, at least for a few months)
Ruff
White-winged Dove (lifer)
Summer Tanager (lifer)
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (lifer)
Tricolored Heron
Northern Gannet
Tufted Duck

/Thomas
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 04, 2018, 05:31:52 pm
Nice list Thomas.

I have added 26 lifers to my Ontario list in 2017; a few notables are:
Gray Jay, Barrow's Goldeneye, Ruff, Whip-poor Will, Willow Ptarmigan, Prothonotary Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Tri-colored Heron, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and Northern Gannet.

A two week- social visit to India towards later half of Dec helped me adding 18 new lifers to my World list.

Ontario Lifers: 259
World Lifers: 424
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: MikeN on January 04, 2018, 09:17:53 pm
2017 was my first full year of birding (half of 2016) so there were a lot of lifers this year. The list stands at 294 so this year I imagine it will take some work to add to it.
Lots of highlights this year.

Smiths Longspur - Longpoint
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - Marie Curtis
Tricolored Heron - TTP
Fork-tailed Flycatcher - TTP
Anna's Hummingbird - Carleton Place
Black-throated Gray Warbler - Ottawa
10 lifer day on the Bay of Fundy off Digby NS

Many miles and good times.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Walter Fisher on January 07, 2018, 08:18:56 pm
Time for my 2017 update...

Ontario Birds - 316 - My 6 additions were Willow Ptarmigan, Blue Grosbeak, Ruff, Magnificent Frigatebird, Tricolored Heron, and Tufted Duck.
Local Park Birds - 194 - My 1 additon for 2017 was a Hooded Warbler (All birds observed at Rosetta McClain Gardens in Toronto).
Backyard Birds - 113 - My 9 additions included Iceland Gull, Great Creasted Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Blackburnian Warbler, and Indigo Bunting.  Plus an unidentified shorebird - Likely a Greater Yellowlegs.

Good birding in 2018,
Walter :)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Pat Hodgson on January 13, 2018, 03:21:01 pm
Due to health problems, I did not get in a foreign trip this year.  Still picked up some good stuff on a mop-up (i.e. second) trip to SE Arizona.

yard: 104  +1 flyover belted kingfisher
Ontario: 303 +6 all birds found by others then seen by many, willow ptarmigan, blue grosbeak, dickcissel, tricolored heron, fork-tailed flycatcher, cattle egret (none lifers)
old ABA area (no Hawaii): 591 +12,  Arizona lifers Botteri's sparrow, five-striped sparrow, rufous-winged sparrow, western screech-owl, Montezuma quail, Lucifer hummingbird, buff-breasted flycatcher plus non-lifers rose-throated becard, tufted flycatcher, rufous-capped warbler; Colorado lifer black rail, Ontario fork-tailed flycatcher
new ABA area with Hawaii: 619 same +12
World: 2064 +8 all listed above
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Leslie Kinrys on February 28, 2018, 02:19:11 pm
In January, I started 2018 with a lifer Red-cockaded Woodpecker in Florida. This month, I had an eight-day trip to Costa Rica. It was amazing! I added 173 new species, which brings my life list to 879.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 08, 2019, 07:31:40 pm
Another year gone by and another opportunity to showcase our life list. In 2018 I have added 22 life birds in Ontario; the notables are:
Tufted Duck, Barnacle Goose, Black-backed Woodpecker, Western Meadowlark, Reddish Egret, Swallow-tailed Kite, Calliope Hummingbird, Slaty-backed Gull and last but not the least Bohemian Waxwings.

In summary:
Ontario Lifers: 283
World Lifers: 451
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: MikeN on January 09, 2019, 08:52:43 pm
Had a good year adding to the list this year as well. Added 42 overall, 22 in Ontario and 20 from a trip to Louisiana. Highlights would be Brown-headed Nuthatches on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, White Ibis in New Orleans and a summer of chasing rarities all over Ontario.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Walter Fisher on January 09, 2019, 11:31:52 pm
Hi all,

A 2018 update...

Ontario Birds - 318 - My only 2 additions were Barnacle Goose and Reddish Egret.
Park Birds - 197 - My 3 additons were Barred Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl and Fish Crow. (All birds observed at Rosetta McClain Gardens in Toronto)
Backyard Birds - 119 - My 6 additions were Trumpeter Swan, Red-shouldered Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Fish Crow, Eastern Towhee, and Scarlet Tanager.

Good birding in 2019,
Walter :)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 19, 2019, 09:33:34 pm
I got 10 new Ontario birds and 30 lifers (most from San Diego area) during 2018 and standing at 318 and 664 per eBird.

New Ontario birds
Lapland Longspur
Barnacle Goose
Yellow-breasted Chat (lifer)
Long-tailed Jaeger
Swallow-tailed Kite (lifer)
Little Blue Heron
Great Kiskadee (lifer)
Black-throated Grey Warbler (lifer)
Hooded Warbler (lifer)
Pine Grosbeak

And I got photos (of varying quality) of all of them except the Longspur.

/Thomas
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on January 09, 2020, 08:21:23 pm
2019 came and gone. However, I still managed to add 13 life birds to Ontario life list, and 5 additional world wide. In Ontario the first one on Jan 6 was a Boreal Chickadee that showed up in Darlington Provincial Park. Surprisingly my many trips to Algonquin never produced one of these beauties. The last one in the province on Dec 12 is a Northern Hawk Owl or the so-called Schomberg Celebrity. The notable ones are: Golden Eagle in Newbury, Hermit Warbler in Whitby, Worm-eating Warbler in Bowmanville, Curlew Sandpiper in Belwood Lake, Black-throated Sparrow in Oakville, Western Kingbird in Hamilton and Norther Hawk Owl in Schomberg. This is where I stand as of end of 2019:

Ontario: 296
World: 468.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on January 11, 2020, 04:23:37 pm
I added only two new Ontario birds in 2019, both lifers: Black-necked Stilt and King Rail.
Another six lifers from Florida.

Ontario: 320
North America: 366
World: 672

/Thomas
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: MikeN on January 11, 2020, 07:25:46 pm
Another solid year.
Added 30 to my lifelist, 26 in Ontario and 4 in Nova Scotia. The highlite being Atlantic Puffins on the water by our boat in the Bay of Fundy.
Looking forward to 2020, roadtrips with my birding crew and a 2 week journey around Newfoundland this summer.
Good Birding all!
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Walter Fisher on January 21, 2020, 10:09:33 pm
Hi all,

My 2019 update...

Ontario Birds - 321 - My 3 new additions were Red-necked Phalarope, Hermit Warbler, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.
Park Birds - 198 - My 1 new additon was Northern Shoveler (flyover). (at Rosetta McClain Gardens, Toronto)
Backyard Birds - 124 - My 5 new additions were Great Egret (flyover), Olive-sided Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Orchard Oriole.

Good birding in 2020,
Walter :)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Leslie Kinrys on April 30, 2020, 02:08:14 pm
I was determined to get over 1,000 on my life list. Birding in 2019 ended up as my biggest year. I started in Florida. I had 10 days in Costa Rica, where my tour went to new areas for me. Spring and summer were in Ontario. I was in Iberia for 2 weeks in the fall. It was a heritage tour, but I got in 2 days of birding in Portugal and found some birds on my own.

I saw 595 species in 2019, not all of them were new to me.

My North American list stands at 572 species.

I added 178 species on my life list.

My life list is at 1064 species.

This year everyone's wings are clipped. Thankfully, there are still local patches to explore. Maybe, we'll get chances to go birding farther afield . Good birding and stay safe.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on May 01, 2020, 08:48:28 am
Wow, that's an impressive life list - 10% of all bird species in the world!. I am only half of that; my march continues.
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: JW Mills on July 06, 2020, 08:26:04 pm
Time for an update:
Ontario 315
Canada 353
Philippines 157
Australia 155
Taiwan 3
World 642
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Walter Fisher on December 20, 2020, 04:38:11 pm
Hi all,

My 2020 update...

Ontario Birds (323) - My 2 new additions were Swallow-tailed Kite and Variegated Flycatcher.
Backyard Birds (135) - My 11 new additions (as of Dec. 20) were Snow Goose, Brant, Black Scoter, Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Carolina Wren, Rusty Blackbird, and Orange-crowned Warbler.

Good birding in 2021,
Walter
:)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Dinusaur on December 31, 2020, 04:04:23 pm
2020 saw me adding 20 life birds to my list, 13 of those came from my visit to India early this year before the lockdown kicked in. In Ontario I have 7 new birds, the first being Black-legged Kittiwake on Jan 1st and the last was a Northern Wheatear on Sept 27. I ended up missing the Variegated Flycatcher.


To date:
Ontario - 308
World - 490


Here's a composite photo of 9 of those life birds.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50783825533_a197369bcd_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2knAo3R)
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: Ally on December 31, 2020, 04:59:59 pm
What a nice thing to celebrate! May your list grow even longer in 2021! I know it's harder for longlist guys ;D ;D
Title: Re: Musing over a life list
Post by: thouc on December 31, 2020, 07:11:39 pm
My Ontario list is now at 327, added seven species this year:
Northern Hawk Owl
Kirtland's Warbler (lifer)
Cerulean Warbler (lifer)
Cinnamon Teal (lifer)
Barrow's Goldeneye (lifer)
Tundra Bean-Goose
Red Crossbill


With those 4 lifers my world list is at 676.