Sunday, December 2, 2018

Next Ten Lifers?

When a birder hit 400 bird species on their North American list - it becomes more important to travel further abroad and to different regions if he/she is going to discovering new species.

At 410 life list species - its interesting to think what might be the next ten that I see? What will be the road to 420 species? I've brainstormed the most realistic or likely birds I could pick up.

Some on this list are not overly rare - and would not need great efforts to travel. For example the first five birds in this list have been seen in Southwestern Ontario with some consistency over the years.

Bohemian Waxwing - Should be easy enough to see this in SW Ontario. Perhaps one will be chasable by lingering near crab apple trees.
Scissor tailed Flycatcher - Occasionally shows up at Point Pelee or Southern Ontario.  Florida Texas or Gulf States.
King Rail - Breeds near lake St Clair and Point Mouille.
Bells Vireo - Shows up every few years during migration.
Varied Thrush - Shows up every few years during the winter season. I've heard this singing in Banff.
Sharp tailed Grouse - Present in UP Michigan.
Snowy Plover - Florida Texas or Gulf States
Least Tern - Florida Texas or Gulf States
Harris' Sparrow - Prairies, Northern Territories
Lecontes Sparrow - Prairies, Northern Territories
Eastern Puffin - Maritime Provinces
Red Phalarope - East Coast during Migration (difficult)
Cave Swallow - Annually shows up in late fall. Flybys near pelee. (Jeremy B and I saw swallows overhead one day at Pelee - and he indicated that they were Cave Swallows.... But I couldn't see any distinguishing field marks so I am not claiming to have seen this species yet.

Possible travel locations:
I would love to travel to Texas and then move through the Southwestern US. There would be several birds I could pick up with that route. In particular - There would be three SW'ern Woodpeckers I could probably pick up. Perhaps Varied Bunting?

Going back out to the east coast of Canada - the maritime provinces - and perhaps doing a pelagic would yield many life birds as well. Eastern Puffin would be pretty easy in the right coastal localities.

Visiting the Prairie Provinces would also be an excellent trip - I would perhaps increase my chances of seeing some of the more rare Sparrows and Grouse I've been needing. I have not yet stepped foot into Manitoba or Saskatchewan!

Alaska - and perhaps a pelagic on into the pacific ocean would yield buckets of life birds as well. 

Artic --- going way up north would be a breathtaking experience as well. Ivory Gull ??

Good birding, DM

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