Thursday, November 5, 2009

My One Year Blog Anniversary!


That's right all, today is my one year blog anniversary!!! A year ago today, I decided to start a blog as a way to journal the bird observations from my yard and other local places and little did I know it would grow into what it is today. I had one field guide, these tiny binoculars I couldn't use, I was very uncomfortable with a camera, and not only did I often mid ID birds, but I couldn't even call them by their right name. Let's see, seagull, Bafflehead and Canadian Goose are just a few to come to mind, HA! I have spotted the errors that I made earlier in my blog and chose to leave them there even though I know they were wrong because that was indeed who I was then and it serves as a reminder on how much I have grown (all though do have to admit I fixed some of my raptor mistakes because I just couldn't help it).


One of the first pictures I took above of a Tufted Titmouse in my yard on Thanksgiving morning. I decided to give all of the backyard birds and other critters a feast that day and will do the same this year! Will have more fun planning their menu than my own! ;-)

Anyhow, I thought I would reflect back a little on some of my more memorable experiences and just had to start with the Peregrine Falcon's which has been one of the biggest highlights of my first year blogging and birding. This is Mr Peregrine above who is my favorite of the two. He makes the funniest faces and comical antics of any bird I have ever seen.

And then of course Mrs Peregrine who is fierce. strong and made a wonderful parent this summer with her young. She hardly ever left that nest box and believe me, I kept my eye on it!


All of the parents hard work paid off as you all know resulting in three young Peregrine Falcon's like the two above. The highlight of my summer for certain!



How many people have the opportunity to see something as special as the picture above? After a while it became the norm and a Peregrine Falcon which is considered a special bird to most, became very common to me but still very special and remains my favorite bird of all. I will continue to track the parents and if I don't see them for a couple of days I worry. I have been told to never get too attached to wild life, but this was one situation where I couldn't avoid it. I worry about them the same way I do family and friends.

And now a glimpse of other things I did this year. Twitching like the photo above for the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Orange, MA.
And the Henslow's Sparrow in Montague, MA.
My introduction to the Forbush Bird Club at Bolton Flats after birding on my own for a few months. Have seen a lot of things with the club and met a lot of wonderful people.
And a lot of cool birds like this Saw-whet Owl in Uxbridge.
My first Grasshopper Sparrow in Sutton
And my first Merlin at Quabbin.
I went from being uncomfortable with using a camera to attempting to digiscope with Alan's awesome scope.
And then there were the fantastic birds! I am telling you, November is probably a great time to start birding because it can only get better right!!! My first introduction to warblers like the Pine Warbler above checking out the Ipod in which his song is playing. I knew right then and there I was going to fall in love with warblers.
Such colorful and beautiful birds like the Blue-winged Warbler above.
And my favorite shot of any kind of warbler including this Prairie Warbler where they are perched in a tree and singing. Soon enough warbler activity lessened some but quickly found a way to fill that void by helping Alan out with his atlasing where we always found a cool bird or two on every trip. ;-)
And then there were the local birds in town like the Graylag Goose at Brierly. I have to admit when I first started birding I would make this a frequent stop and the goose would scare me. As soon as I got out of my car it would run after me making a gesture with his bill as if it were hissing like a cat. I would run back to my car and leave, afraid of that bill of his and what it could do to me. Now I regard it as a friend and am glad it makes the woman across the street happy.
And of course my obsession with gulls like the ones at Target at Lincoln Plaza.
And the more exotic gulls in more exotic locations.
And other exotic birds in other exotic locations like the Black Skimmer above. Another twitch that was successful!
And just when you thought summer birding was boring you were proven wrong by the various shorebirds like the Whimbrel's above.
And the Piping Plover above at Plum Island.
And the many shorebirds at Plymouth Beach!!! Overwhelming but awesome to say the least!

And in between the warblers and the shorebirds, there was July where bird activity seemed scarce so what does one do during that time. Why hike mountains of course, like Mount Monadnock where I got some of the best views of Common Raven's I have ever seen.

And then came phase two of my birding as I like to call it. I got myself some good binoculars and started Nighthawk watching and realized I love it. The binos were new to me but soon enough I got used to them and spent many nights in mid to late August scanning the skies for these special birds. I was sad when it was over with because it didn't last nearly as long as I would have liked it to have.


But soon enough I found something else to take its place like hawkwatching which is another highlight of the year and something I wasn't sure I would like, but like it I did!! Whether it be Mount Watatic where I saw my first migrating Osprey.
Or Barre Falls watching for Broad-winged Hawks, I was instantly drawn and is the one major thing I am planning to work on next year as a major birding objective of mine.
And then there were the sparrows and fall warblers. People say hawkwatching can be frustrating, but I found this to be more so. The fall warblers all look very similar and the sparrows are just too darn secretive!! I never did get a nice look at a White-crowned Sparrow, but I did see many others like the Savannah Sparrow above.
And now it duck and waterfowl time which has been a great way to end October and start November.
Who knew there were so many ducks out there!! So cool!

And of course another major highlight has been meeting a ton of people whether it be in person or here through my blog. What was once a journal from a beginning birders perspective has bloomed into so much more and has opened my eyes to a whole new world that was always there, but I just wasn't searching for it at that time.

I will continue to bird as hard as I did this first year but plan on giving back as well by doing more for citizen science, Heck, I bird so much why not make sure I put it into eBird for tracking, I bird in the dead of winter so why not participate in as many Christmas Bird Counts as I can and the Great Backyard Bird Count of course. I will improve my hawkwatching skills so I can contribute there as well. The sky is the limit!

Take care all!

21 comments:

matthew houskeeper said...

Congratulations Kim! I have learned a great deal, and enjoyed very much following your blog this past year.

Christopher said...

Truly a fantastic year - and well done documenting and sharing it with us.

Looking forward to year two!

forestal said...

Happy anniversay, some great shots there and wonderful birds. love the peregrines

A Scattering said...

Wow, what a year. How many have you put on your life list in that year? Thanks for sharing the fun.

madcobug said...

Happy Blogging Anniversary. You have taken a lot of special shots and I have enjoyed looking at them. Helen

John said...

Congrats on reaching the anniversary!

A New England Life said...

What a journey you've been on Kim! Congratulations on your one year anniversary! Seeing it in pictures and reading your description of everything is wonderful.

Here's wishing you an even more rewarding second year!

Sharon

Richard said...

Happy Anniversary Kim...You're come a long ways and like me, have a long ways to go yet.

Rich said...

Congratulations Kim! You have a lot to be proud of. Your shots and information really are outstanding.

MaineBirder said...

Congratulations Kim! Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and adventures with us. I look forward to reading your posts for many years to come!

Andy said...

What a year! Congratulations are in order.

Beth said...

Congratulations on your blogiversary, Kim. I enjoy reading about your growth as a birder. Thanks for sharing.

Beth

The Early Birder said...

Hi Kim. I well remember your early beginnings as the 'Kitchen Window Birder' & the many questions you posed. How things have changed & your confidence, ID skills & not least your photos have gone from strength to strength. Well done.
Happy Blog Anniversary. FAB

Ginnymo said...

Happy 1st Anniversary Kim!! I really enjoyed your posts and especially the Falcons!

Steve Borichevsky said...

It has been a busy year. Look at how far you've come.

eileeninmd said...

Congrats on your anniversary! It looks like you had a great year birding.

Susan W. said...

What a wonderful year! What wonderful pictures! Congratulations on a fantastic blog!

Mary said...

Kim, I've had fun knowing you! You certainly have grown in knowing your bird IDs and definitely have mastered your camera! I think you are a raptor girl. All the birds are special but I see your fondness for them.

Oh, I never went back to correct ID's on my posts because there were too many! Long ago I called a Junco a Chickadee. Aaaaack! I can't believe it.

Anyway, although I've missed a lot of blogs since Spring, I have enjoyed yours so much... Keep at it!

And, thanks for suggesting planks. They work.

Hugs and congrats,
Mary

WR said...

The first blogging anniversary of a year well spent! Great collection of photos. LOVED the falcons!

NCmountainwoman said...

Congratulations. What a year you have had! And we do appreciate your sharing it with us.

Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!

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