Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking back.... A year in Review

Looking Back... 

Wow, I've come so far this year in my birding interests. To go from 80 birds in my first year, to 215 in my second calendar year is awesome. Its funny though... why is it taking me this long ??? Some people get 100 birds easily in the month of May on a typical day. There is a young birder in Ontario that is in his teens that has 300+ birds this year! (Travelling allot doesn't hurt when you get past the 200 mark!)

This posting  contains several short blobs that I have worked on during the month of December. Each blob is of course, separated with a short length of tildes (~).               

Topic Summary:

Blogging... is it worth it?
Best Lifers this year... by month!
New Blog Name?
Trips for 2011?
Birds I missed this year
IBWO Video ... a must-see for any bird lovers!


Blogging... is it worth it?

I've spent alot of time thinking if Blogging is a good thing to do. Also, why do I blog?  ... After much contemplation, I realize blogging is really a positive experience. It boils down to "Knowledge Networks". Having a blog and reading many excellent blogs from the region (and beyond) vastly increases ones knowledge on so many fronts. Blogging and reading blogs increases my awareness in different ways than books can raise my awareness. It's in real time, its seasonal, its local ... its awesome. Blogging makes Ontario a smaller place. And, I get to share my observations (both exciting and bland) with a small group of people that love birding. My small personal family and friend network is not really interested when I tell them that I saw a Northern Shrike. But my birding circle would be more likely to appreciate these achievements. Blogging, along with, Ontbirds email listserve, the OFO website,  and a few personal contacts that I've made has made learning about birding a fun, dynamic process.


Best Lifers this year... by month!

Jan - Hooded Merganser, Eastern Bluebird
Feb-Red Breasted Nuthatch, Lapland Longspur
March - Loggerhead Shrike, Snowy Egret (Florida)
April - White Faced Ibis, Carolina Wren, Red Breasted Merganser
May - Red Headed Woodpecker, Canada Warbler (all the warblers really!)
June - Pileated Woodpecker, Black Bellied Plover
July - Short Billed Dowitcher, Least Bittern
August - Marsh Wren, Bobolink
Sep- Buff breasted Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit
Oct - Winter Wren, Northern Pintail
Nov -Golden Eagle, Northern Shrike
Dec- Rough legged Hawk-(my only lifer in December really)


New Blog Name?
I was wondering if I should change the name of my blog to a better, more mature name. Does Nerdy for Birdy come off as silly? Some names I thought of were...

*Birding in Essex Co. (Birding in and around Essex County)
*Monoculture Birder (Birding in a ravaged ecosystem that is Essex County)

or... should I just stay with what I have already?


Trips for 2011?  My new-years resolution is to travel more. My birding resolution involves trying to start identifying gulls. Over the last year, I have read about so many great locations in Ontario and beyond that I would love to see. Some are:

Long Point, ON
Algonquin Provincial Park
Napanee & Carden Alvar, ON
Luther Marsh, ON
Rainy River, ON
British Columbia
Churchill Manitoba
Texas & Southwestern US


Birds I missed this year:
Warblers: Prothnotary, Cerulean, Kentucky, Worm-eating, Yellow Breasted Chat
Rails: All of them (other than Sora)
American Bittern
Sedge Wren
Shorebirds in Breeding Plumage (All of them)
Meadowlarks in Ontario
Bobolinks in breeding plumage
.... and about 160 others that I can't think of right now!


IBWO Video

I end off my last blog entry for 2010 with a video I posted on my first blog posting back in Jan 2010. If you love birding and nature, this is an excellent video. Its about the extinct Ivory Billed Woodpecker, but really, its about so much more. Its about the importance of preserving habitat, and gives a person some insight on how Ornithologists analyze bird related issues scientifically and objectively. I was quickly reminded by IBWO readers that this video is over 5-6 years old, and that sadly, no concrete evidence has been brought forward even with huge financial rewards on the existence of this incredible bird. On the other hand, I have unsubstantiated & heard second hand stories of Ornithology students who believe there may be some remaining.

A special thanks to anyone reading this! Anyone that links to this blog (Blake, Paul & Stuart) anyone that follows the site (both formally and informally). Thanks for the anyone that comments as well! I'm looking forward to continuing and improving in 2011!

Good Birding & Happy New Year!


  1. I think your current blog title is charming and catchy. Keep it. I also agree that blogging is a very positive thing that helps build community. I live right across from the marina but had not noticed the Canvasbacks or Redheads until you blogged about them. (I had only noticed the Mute Swans and Common Goldeneyes.) I immediately took the scope back down to the pier for a better look. Awesome. Did you notice all the raccoons on Peche Island digging something out of the ice at the water's edge? Dying shad?

  2. Right on! Great post, Dwayne-- really encapsulates what the positives about writing about your experiences really are.

    Lots of Meadowlarks around here in spring-- pretty shy lot, though... I need to invest in a blind...

  3. A good summary post! I suppose you could always come up with something catchy for a new blog title, but whatever turns you on!
    ...Essex County Beakon.....Murphy's Claw.....etc.

  4. Great post Dwayne!
    I was interested to hear your thoughts that validate blogging and couldn't agree more. I also like that I can look back on it and feel like I've done something...I'm sure I wouldn't have the same sense of accomplishment if those pics were all lost on my hard drive somewhere!
    I absolutely love the name of your blog. It's a keeper for sure.



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