Friday, December 30, 2011

A big year for Durham?


After the crazy streak of rare shorebirds on upper Falls Lake this fall I realized I had a pretty decent Durham County list going for the year.  And with Nate Swick of the Drinking Bird doing his Triangle Big Year, John Vanderpoel on the brink of setting an ABA record, and with that awesome, star-studded, money-losing movie coming out, I figured why not jump on this band wagon?

I’m proud to report that my Durham County big year total of 181 species sets a new record!!* Yet I have to admit, improvement is more than possible.  An area as small as Durham County can be covered with relative ease,  and according to ebird 217 species were reported for 2011. I missed a lot of birds simply because I hadn’t really begun making any special effort until the year had mostly passed.

*Only because nobody has ever been silly enough to keep such records.  And in the event that somebody has been so silly, I have no idea whether or not this is a record beyond what ebird tells me. 

The most glaring misses are: a few breeding warblers—Hooded, Kentucky and Yellow-breasted Chat (I was in Europe for most of May); several ducks—Am. Black Duck, Pintail, Red-breasted Merganser, Redhead, Canvasback, Greater Scaup (I just didn’t bird Falls Lake until August this year); and some birds that I would try to see in the waning days of 2011 if I weren’t so busy criss-crossing the southeast seeing relatives and helping with coastal Christmas counts—Snipe, Woodcock, Fox Sparow.

But these silly misses are counteracted by 26 shorebird species including some gems: Red-necked Phalarope, American Oystercatcher (first county record?), Piping Plover, Red Knot, American Golden-Plover, Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Long-billed Dowitcher (first county record?).  The two shorebirds that eluded me were Ruddy Turnstone, which I somehow missed multiple times at Falls, and Wilson’s Phalarope, of which I saw two, but both were on the Granville County side of Falls Lake. 
Shorebird mayhem at Falls Lake

I also had some dumb luck that brought me a Tundra Swan at Falls Lake, a Common Raven at a shopping center, a Mississippi Kite flyover at my parents’ house, and a Nashville Warbler that turned up outside my classroom…all birds that I could never expect to find in Durham that somehow found me instead. 

Then there were the Wood Storks, the Parasitic Jaeger, the Anhinga, and the Greater White-fronted Goose (another Durham county first?).  A real big year effort beginning on January 1 might have had these oddities push me over the 200 mark, but I guess that will have to wait for another year (and probably another birder!)

Happy 2012!

# Species Location Date
1 Canada Goose Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
2 Mallard Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
3 Great Blue Heron Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
4 Red-shouldered Hawk Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
5 Belted Kingfisher Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
6 Red-bellied Woodpecker Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
7 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
8 Downy Woodpecker Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
9 Northern Flicker Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
10 Blue Jay Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
11 American Crow Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
12 Carolina Chickadee Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
13 Tufted Titmouse Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
14 White-breasted Nuthatch Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
15 Carolina Wren Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
16 Ruby-crowned Kinglet Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
17 Eastern Bluebird Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
18 Hermit Thrush Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
19 American Robin Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
20 Brown Thrasher Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
21 Eastern Towhee Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
22 White-throated Sparrow Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
23 Northern Cardinal Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
24 Purple Finch Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
25 American Goldfinch Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 6-Jan-11
26 Red-tailed Hawk Maplewood House 12-Jan-11
27 Cedar Waxwing Maplewood House 12-Jan-11
28 Cooper's Hawk Maplewood House 14-Jan-11
29 Yellow-rumped Warbler Maplewood House 15-Jan-11
30 Dark-eyed Junco Maplewood House 18-Jan-11
31 Mourning Dove Maplewood House 22-Jan-11
32 Northern Mockingbird Maplewood House 22-Jan-11
33 Pine Warbler Maplewood House 22-Jan-11
34 House Sparrow Maplewood House 22-Jan-11
35 Hairy Woodpecker Mud Creek 24-Jan-11
36 Red-breasted Nuthatch Mud Creek 24-Jan-11
37 Brown-headed Nuthatch Mud Creek 24-Jan-11
38 Brown Creeper Mud Creek 24-Jan-11
39 Chipping Sparrow Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 24-Jan-11
40 Field Sparrow Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 24-Jan-11
41 Song Sparrow Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 24-Jan-11
42 Swamp Sparrow Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 24-Jan-11
43 House Finch Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 24-Jan-11
44 Pine Siskin Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 24-Jan-11
45 Turkey Vulture Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 31-Jan-11
46 Winter Wren Mud Creek 31-Jan-11
47 Eastern Phoebe Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 9-Feb-11
48 Golden-crowned Kinglet Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 9-Feb-11
49 Red-winged Blackbird Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 9-Feb-11
50 European Starling Maplewood House 9-Feb-11
51 Fish Crow Maplewood House 21-Feb-11
52 Savannah Sparrow Maplewood House 2-Mar-11
53 Common Grackle Maplewood House 21-Mar-11
54 Common Raven New Hope Commons 6-Apr-11
55 Northern Rough-winged Swallow New Hope Commons 6-Apr-11
56 Chimney Swift Maplewood House 12-Apr-11
57 Great Crested Flycatcher Maplewood House 12-Apr-11
58 House Wren Maplewood House 15-Apr-11
59 Red-eyed Vireo Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 15-Apr-11
60 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 15-Apr-11
61 Northern Parula Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 15-Apr-11
62 Prairie Warbler Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 15-Apr-11
63 Wood Duck Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
64 Wild Turkey Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
65 Double-crested Cormorant Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
66 Black Vulture Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
67 Barred Owl Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
68 Ruby-throated Hummingbird Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
69 Red-headed Woodpecker Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
70 Pileated Woodpecker Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
71 White-eyed Vireo Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
72 Tree Swallow Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
73 Barn Swallow Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
74 Ovenbird Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
75 Northern Waterthrush Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
76 Prothonotary Warbler Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
77 Common Yellowthroat Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
78 Yellow-throated Warbler Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
79 Summer Tanager Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
80 Brown-headed Cowbird Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 17-Apr-11
81 Green Heron Flat River Waterfowl Impoundment 17-Apr-11
82 Sharp-shinned Hawk Flat River Waterfowl Impoundment 17-Apr-11
83 Palm Warbler Flat River Waterfowl Impoundment 17-Apr-11
84 Eastern Kingbird Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 21-Apr-11
85 Scarlet Tanager Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 21-Apr-11
86 Indigo Bunting Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 21-Apr-11
87 Black-and-white Warbler Maplewood House 25-Apr-11
88 Gray Catbird Maplewood House 25-Apr-11
89 American Redstart Maplewood House 26-Apr-11
90 Solitary Sandpiper Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 26-Apr-11
91 Blue Grosbeak Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 27-Apr-11
92 Yellow Warbler Maplewood House 30-Apr-11

Mute Swan (not countable) Quail Roost 1-May-11
93 Bald Eagle Quail Roost 1-May-11
94 American Kestrel Quail Roost 1-May-11
95 Killdeer Quail Roost 1-May-11
96 Rock Pigeon Quail Roost 1-May-11
97 Acadian Flycatcher Quail Roost 1-May-11
98 Blue-headed Vireo Quail Roost 1-May-11
99 Purple Martin Quail Roost 1-May-11
100 Cliff Swallow Quail Roost 1-May-11
101 Grasshopper Sparrow Quail Roost 1-May-11
102 White-crowned Sparrow Quail Roost 1-May-11
103 Eastern Meadowlark Quail Roost 1-May-11
104 Orchard Oriole Quail Roost 1-May-11
105 Louisiana Waterthrush West Point of the Eno Park 1-May-11
106 Rose-breasted Grosbeak West Point of the Eno Park 1-May-11
107 Swainson's Thrush 134 Pinecrest 5-May-11
108 Blackpoll Warbler Maplewood House 8-May-11
109 Wood Thrush 134 Pinecrest 16-Jun-11
110 Mississippi Kite 134 Pinecrest 19-Jun-11
111 Eastern Wood-Pewee Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 20-Jun-11
112 Yellow-throated Vireo Duke University Wetland Center 'SWAMP' 27-Jun-11
113 Great Egret Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 3-Aug-11
114 Semipalmated Plover Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 3-Aug-11
115 Lesser Yellowlegs Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 3-Aug-11
116 Semipalmated Sandpiper Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 3-Aug-11
117 Pectoral Sandpiper Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 3-Aug-11
118 Snowy Egret Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 4-Aug-11
119 Black-crowned Night-Heron Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 4-Aug-11
120 Osprey Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 4-Aug-11
121 Spotted Sandpiper Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 4-Aug-11
122 Western Sandpiper Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 4-Aug-11
123 Least Sandpiper Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 4-Aug-11
124 Greater Yellowlegs Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 22-Aug-11
125 Short-billed Dowitcher Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 22-Aug-11
126 Caspian Tern Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 22-Aug-11
127 Pied-billed Grebe Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 22-Aug-11
128 Little Blue Heron Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 22-Aug-11
129 Sanderling Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 22-Aug-11
130 Stilt Sandpiper Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 22-Aug-11
131 Red-necked Phalarope Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 22-Aug-11
132 Black Tern Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 22-Aug-11
133 Willet Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 22-Aug-11
134 Common Nighthawk Durham 23-Aug-11
135 American Golden-Plover Falls Lake--Will Suitt mudflats 28-Aug-11
136 Piping Plover Falls Lake--Will Suitt mudflats 28-Aug-11
137 Red Knot Falls Lake--Will Suitt mudflats 28-Aug-11
138 Baird's Sandpiper Falls Lake--Will Suitt mudflats 28-Aug-11
139 Ring-billed Gull Falls Lake--Will Suitt mudflats 28-Aug-11
140 Chestnut-sided Warbler Falls Lake--Will Suitt mudflats 28-Aug-11
141 Blue-winged Teal Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 28-Aug-11
142 Wood Stork Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 28-Aug-11
143 White-rumped Sandpiper Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 28-Aug-11
144 Buff-breasted Sandpiper Falls Lake--Will Suitt mudflats 4-Sep-11
145 Forster's Tern Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 4-Sep-11
146 Yellow-billed Cuckoo Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 4-Sep-11
147 Northern Harrier Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 11-Sep-11
148 American Avocet Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 11-Sep-11
149 Parasitic Jaeger Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 11-Sep-11
150 American Oystercatcher Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 18-Sep-11
151 Bank Swallow Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 18-Sep-11
152 Magnolia Warbler 134 Pinecrest 24-Sep-11
153 Blackburnian Warbler Brickhouse Rd. (Butner Gamelands) 25-Sep-11
154 Gray-cheeked Thrush 134 Pinecrest 1-Oct-11
155 Eastern Screech-Owl Duke Forest--Shepherd Nature Trail  2-Oct-11
156 Black-throated Blue Warbler Duke Forest--Shepherd Nature Trail  2-Oct-11
157 Cape May Warbler Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 20-Oct-11
158 Long-billed Dowitcher Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 23-Oct-11
159 Northern Shoveler Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 30-Oct-11
160 Green-winged Teal Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 30-Oct-11
161 Black-bellied Plover Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 30-Oct-11
162 American Pipit Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 30-Oct-11
163 Vesper Sparrow Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 30-Oct-11
164 Ruddy Duck Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 30-Oct-11
165 Horned Grebe Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 30-Oct-11
166 American Coot Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 30-Oct-11
167 Bonaparte's Gull Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 30-Oct-11
168 Herring Gull Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 30-Oct-11
169 Nashville Warbler Duke University - Levine Science Research Center 1-Nov-11
170 Tundra Swan Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 5-Nov-11
171 Ring-necked Duck Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 5-Nov-11
172 Dunlin Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 5-Nov-11
173 American Wigeon Falls Lake--Railroad Grade (Durham County side) 5-Nov-11
174 Lesser Scaup Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 5-Nov-11
175 Rusty Blackbird Falls Lake -- Ellerbe Creek RR grade 6-Nov-11
176 Gadwall Falls Lake--Cheek Road Causeway 6-Nov-11
177 Common Loon Falls Lake--Rolling View 6-Nov-11
178 Hooded Merganser Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 2-Dec-11
179 Bufflehead Falls Lake--Hickory Hills Boat Ramp 11-Dec-11
180 Anhinga Quail Roost 18-Dec-11
181 Greater White-fronted Goose Magic CBC goose ponds 18-Dec-11

4 comments:

  1. All those shorebirds... I feel sick about that run of birds on the Will Suite flats that I missed thinking that was Granville County.. Oops.

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  2. Yeah the county line there is pretty idiosyncratic, but you won't see me complaining! There's a Google Earth layer for county borders that I found rather useful.

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  3. GoogleEarth for the iPhone shows county lines pretty well. I lean on that anymore. Won't make that mistake again. :)

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  4. I'd bet Will Cook or Jeff Pippen have had 200 plus years, but just haven't entered the records. I'd bet Will could get 200 without use of the internet.
    Mark

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