Well, this post was supposed to be up in early January and now it’s the end of March, but I really wanted to have some bird lists up when I posted this. I’m going to blame candidacy exam preparations and a steep learning curve when it came to parsing my data from ebird. I do finally, after more than a year, have some active links to birding lists in the menu above. The process is still very kludgy, is not live updating, and for the maps involves a pipeline shunting the data from excel to R to a csv to kml converter and then through google earth. Not in any way ideal but better than nothing till I learn more mySQL. Now we move from excuses and nerdy programing minutia to nerdy birdwatching minutia, buckle up!
As should be abundantly clear from Fig. 1, 2013 was a really good birdwatching year for me. Not counting trips to the tropics this was my highest year total yet, just cracking 200, if I count a golden plover not identified to species. The vast majority of this birding occurred in the Metro Vancouver area (Fig. 2), but I did do some birding on the Island, in Squamish, near Harrison Hot Springs, and in Portland. Of the some 200 odd species I observed this year, 194 of these species were observed in the Metro Vancouver area. My total falls well short of Rob Lyske’s massive 250 species year but still gave me a respectable 14th place among ebird contributors.
I spent a lot more time birdwatching last year than I have in many years (Fig. 1) and it shows in my year total and the number of lifers I saw this year. While the high number of lifers I saw last year (37) is probably at least partly due to my recent move across a continental divide to a different province with a different avifauna, there is definitely an effort component. Of the new species I saw this year I would have to say the highlights included Eurasian rarities like Brambling and Red-flanked Bluetail, seeing my first swifts, my first Long-eared Owl, and the year was capped off with a Wild Turkey in Portland. Here’s hoping for another great year in 2014. You can see my full 2013 list here.