Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Two years birding in San Diego County

The end of September marked 2 years living in San Diego County. The Management job for the mobile home park Marlene and I work at will be 2 years at the end of November. It seems to be going well now, even if so difficult at first--but that's work, right? We miss all of our friends in Oregon, but have made many new friends locally. Never before in history has it been so easy to keep in contact with friends throughout the earth. Still, they are missed--even if there are irregular phone calls, emails, text messages, Instagram photos shared, online games of Words with Friends, or blog postings.

The last few birds I've added to my County List in San Diego include Least Bittern, Hermit Warbler, and Yellow-throated Vireo (lifer) in August, Red-masked Parakeet (non-countable on ABA list) in September, and Green-tailed Towhee and Snowy Plover in October, so far. That brings me up to 311 species for the county total, 266 this year. Last year I found 270 species for the entire year, so this year seems like it could be more. I didn't plan on being out of commission, birding-wise, in August and September with shoulder surgery, but that is life.

For comparison, Nancy Christensen has 325 species in the county this year. The record was in 2013 when Barbara Carlson recorded an amazing 387 species in a single year. Over 500 species have occurred in the county, though just over 400 is typical for any one year.

Now that Snowy Plover is no longer #1 on my 'missing species list' ("nemesis bird") the new contenders for "what, you haven't you seen them yet?" are Red-crowned Parrot and Common Poorwill.

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