Lucky end to the year

I was particularly lucky these finals days of the year, getting great looks at the Western Kingbird and pretty good looks at the Ash-throated Flycatcher. And even better, both these birds were close to my house so I didn’t have to spend money on gas. This is a great change after missing some key birds earlier in the year (Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Rufous Hummingbird).

A year end trip to Barnegat Light, NJ yielded my life King Eider as well as great photo opportunities for Brant, Common Loon and Harlequin Duck.

One of the highlights at Barnegat Light was seeing two Peregrine Falcons strafing a nervous flock of Purple Sandpipers and Ruddy Turnstones for about 5 minutes until one of the birds finally caught something. The other Peregrine immediately took off in hot pursuit. Unfortunately my digiscoping setup does not allow for easy shots of birds that are flying. Occasionally I get lucky though.

So I ended up with 294 species for the year. I think that is pretty respectable for the amount of driving I did. I managed 373 in 2005 but that was bolstered by a trip to the west coast. I can barely wait to see what 2007 will hold for me. Hope 2006 treated you well and here’s to a wonderful 2007.
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