It seems the calendar has tipped over to another year. Gratefully (2009 was not the best of years - politically, economically, etc), I look back on my year in birds and other things.
2009 was the year I met all my blog friends (after a quick first meeting in Cape May, NJ in October, 2008) at New River Bird Festival in West Virginia. What a blast (traveling with a 40 pound cement chicken mascot was a strange part of this trip for sure). Forever-friends I will hold close in my heart for the rest of my life. You all know who you are....miss you and can't wait to see you again this year.
This was the year of lifers. My pitiful little life list grew by 30 in 2009 including my favorites - bobolink, chestnut-sided warbler, Swainson's thrush, woodcock and worm-eating warbler. The last lifer of 2009 was a veery in July. I am grateful for the help I had getting all those important lifers (yes, I mean you, Paco). It was a life experience this year at New River when I held a wild bird for banding. What a memory.
It was the year of the blog. I started this modest adventure in 2009 and made over 55 posts (more than one per week!). What started as a lark to keep Susan from bugging me became a real part of my life that I don't want to give up - although I would like it to be better.
In 2009 I tried my hand at leading bird trips (at least for birders under age 12!). Had a blast and can't wait to do it again.
And it was the year that my yard birds threatened to sue me thanks to the advice from my lawyer friend, Andy. To make up for dissing my yard birds, I did assist in rescuing 11 baby mallards at work.
I was a bird landlord and I traveled to the Philadelphia Zoo to check out more exotic birds I can't find in Pennsylvania.
On a personal note, my career is going through some transition (could be good, could be bad) but my health is much improved after bariatric surgery, so while I look forward to being healthy enough for more extensive birding, work could put a wrench in the plans for trips to West Virginia, New England/ Canada, Florida and Texas in 2010.
The first bird trip of 2010 will be The Space Coast Bird Festival in Titusville, Florida at the end of this month and I can't wait. I know that putting things in writing gives dreams and ideas more meaning and power. So here are my bird resolutions for 2010:
1.) Attend New River Festival again in West Virginia (April 2009)
2.) Go birding with Uncle Jim (mentor extraordinaire) on the New England/ Canada cruise we are taking in July to celebrate my mom's 70th birthday. Bird, don't just laze by the pool on the ship!
3.) Buy that new pair of binoculars I have been saving for (Nikon Premier series).
4.) On the family trip to Florida for Easter, get to Merritt Island for some serious birding.
5.) Visit the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for South American bird specialties.
6.) Buy a decent camera to spruce up the blog (although I will never be the photographer that Mary is - she rocks!).
In the next two weeks, I will make my annual pilgrimage to Long Beach Island, NJ to see Harlequin ducks, ruddy turnstones, purple sandpipers and dunlins that make Barnegat Light their home every year. Target lifer this year is a snow bunting- I am not leaving without one, even if I freeze my newly slimmed down butt off!
To all my birding and non-birding friends, have a great New Year full of health, love and laughter.