Birding lends itself to listing, although by no means are the two required to go hand-in-hand. For me personally, listing my sightings is a great way to fulfill my need to organize and understand data, as well as to have something tangible to reflect back upon. Like many birders, I keep multiple lists, including:
- Life List- Total number of species seen
- Yard List- Birds seen from home
- County List- Birds seen in my home county, Macomb (as well as other county lists, though at this point, I tend not to focus much on county lists other than my home county)
- Year List- Species seen each calendar year
Of these lists, the ones I focus on the most are my Life List, and my Macomb Year List. I do not currently have the time nor resources to go birding exhaustively throughout the state all the time, so I pour as much time and effort as I can into seeing as many birds as possible in my own county each year. In terms of County Year Lists, there are a few months which generally produce higher-than-average species totals. One of those is May, my favorite month, during the peak of spring migration. Here, neotropical migrants return, and warblers fill the trees with tiny, frenetic pops of color. Another species-heavy month is January, and this is simply because it is the beginning. Each new year brings species totals back to zero, which means a fresh start and clean slate... every bird is new again!
Just a week into the new year, I have reached 50 birds in my Macomb County Year List, so I decided to give you a little collage of the birds I've seen so far this year, in the order I've seen them. The only exception is bird #47, which is not pictured because it was too far away and moving too quickly. This sighting also happened to be my first life bird of the year, and it was a Glaucous Gull, which is a very large and beautiful, all-white gull. Enjoy!
|American Black Duck|
|American Tree Sparrow|
|Brown Creeper (eating a spider egg sac perhaps?)|
|Greater Scaup (in a mixed raft of ducks... still need a solo pic)|
|Northern Saw-whet Owl|
|Red-breasted Nuthatch, BIRD #50 for 2017!!|