Sunday, January 30, 2011

Milwaukee BIGBY update - 21 new life birds so far!!

Today I was taking a look at the checklist of birds seen during my Milwaukee walking BIGBY. I've never done a BIGBY near a large body of water, so I decided to see how many new life birds I've recorded. Not new BIGBY life birds, but new life birds overall.

I was surprised (but maybe not surprised) to find that 10% of the species I've recorded since I moved to Milwaukee were new LIFE birds.

Why was I surprised? I've added 21 new lifer birds since starting my Milwaukee BIGBY on 8/1/10!

Why was I not surprised? Most of my birding before Milwaukee was generally in Midwestern woodlands and grasslands. Birding the Lake Michigan waterfront was a completely new experience.

Not surprisingly, waterfowl, shorebirds, waders and gulls accounted for 20 of the 21 new life birds. The outlier was what I am convinced was a Cave Swallow in December at Lakeshore State Park (I filed a report with the WSO...we'll see what they think).

Also not surprisingly, I had no new lifer owls, hawks or falcons. No new warblers or sparrows or other passerines.

Here's the list of the 21 new life species:

Ross's Goose
Cackling Goose
Trumpeter Swan
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Barrow's Goldeneye
Red-throated Loon
Black-crowned Night Heron
Ruddy Turnstone
Franklin's Gull
Thayer's Gull
Black-legged Kittiwake
Greater Black-backed Gull
Iceland Gull
Glaucous Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Cave Swallow

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