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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Week One of 2017 Photo Year List

It's one week in to 2017, all of which so far for me has been spent on San Juan Island. Despite lots of wind, the birding has been great, and I've already managed to photograph 60 species! My goal for the year is 150, so I'm off to a great start. Even though I'm focusing on the photo year list this year, because I use eBird it's keeping track of my "normal" year list, too. So far I've seen/heard 71 species. It's amazing to me that in a week I've been able to photograph nearly 85% of the species I've seen! If that percentage holds up, I should be in good shape. (Over 7 years of year listing, my average is 205 species, and 85% of that 174 species!)

But enough with the numbers, and on to the photos - here are some of my favorites from week one...

First bird of the year - chestnut-backed chickadee

#15 Great blue heron

#16 Trumpeter swan
#27 Northern shoveler

#31 Spotted towhee

#32 Purple finch

#38 Hairy woodpecker
#41 Long-tailed duck

#46 Pileated woodpecker

#53 Marbled murrelet

#58 White-crowned sparrow

So far, nothing too unusual or unexpected, but I'm going to run out of common species here on San Juan Island pretty quick, so perhaps a trip to the mainland will be in order, at least before the winter species start to move back north! But one reason I love year listing is because it makes even the most abundant species exciting again, as you pay attention to every bird. If I wasn't doing a year list, I don't think I would ever say things like "Why haven't I seen a starling?" It also makes me pay attention to where the common species hang out locally, and which ones have increased or decreased in abundance. It's all just another way to look at, enjoy, and appreciate nature, and provides motivation to get out even when the weather is less than ideal or the schedules are busy.

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