Although in 2009 I did not hit my birding goals, the year still turned out to be nothing short of absolutely fantastic! This was a big year in my world of birding! I was blessed to bird in both Florida and Ecuador as well as attend several birding events for the first time.
I wrapped up the year with 330 species total - 173 Life Birds! This brings my World List to 425, my ABA List to 230, and my Indiana List to 199. Indiana brought me 165 birds in 2009, 1 more than 2008. Not much of an increase but, an increase nonetheless.
2010 is going to be another awesome year! I can feel it! So far, I have planned trips to Florida, Denver, Lake Erie, San Blas, MX, and hopefully the Outer Banks. I am hoping that these trips will help me achieve my year goal this year of reaching 525 World Species - 100 new birds!
So... in no particular order, here are some memories from 2009 - a year that...
gave me the opportunity to take my family to Mammoth Cave, KY.
allowed me to see my first Florida Scrub Jay.
gave me a glimpse of these Roseate Spoonbills in Florida!
took me took Ecuador to see more than 20 species of Hummingbirds, including this Purple-bibbed White-tip...
a Booted Racket-tail, and and Purple-throated Woodstar.
gave me the best picture of a Blue Jay I have taken to date.
let me and the family see more that 7,000 Sandhill Cranes at Jasper Pulaski in Indiana.
has given me a record low backyard bird count thanks to our neighborhood Coopers Hawk.
gave my son and I a chance to bird Lake Erie with the Kaufman's and other fine birders!
my kids took turns looking through the scope at Eagle Creek, Indianapolis.
I witnessed a murder before my very eyes!
my neighbors had a Golden-crowned Kinglet in their garage that did not want to leave.
introduced me to the experience of trampling around in a wet mess in the rain to see a LeConte's and Nelson's Sparrow... and to get a chance to bird with some very good birders!
gave my nephew a chance to experience how nuts birders can be at Lake Michigan, IN.
miraculously gave me an opportunity to see a Kirtland's Warbler while at the Midwest Birding Symposium along the coast of Lake Erie!
let me bird with the team from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology... OMG!
gave me another lifer... a Philadelphia Vireo at Magee Marsh.
gave me a chance to see this gorgeous sunrise at Ottawa NWR.
let me get a picture with THE Kenn Kaufman! Yeap, THE Kenn Kaufman!
made me appreciate those who spend their time to saving wild birds. This gorgeous Peregrine Falcon was a patient.
made me appreciate the ugly beauty of this baby Indigo Bunting.
brought a good number of Caspian Terns to Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.
I realized how photogenic a birder can be!
I saw a copycat of the Hummingbird.
I saw my first Dickcissel at Goose Pond, IN.
my House Finches drank more sugar water than the Hummingbirds did.
my insect-eating plants bloomed as if they were normal innocent flowers.