Are you a NARBA member that has recently passed a milestone that you would like to share with other members of the birding community? If so, please send your submission to NARBA staff for inclusion in this section. Good birding!
Ann Haverstock: ABA #700
Ann Haverstock achieved her goal of "700 before 70th birthday" in a whirlwind chase in the west, resulting in #696 Sinaloa Wren, Fort Huachuca AZ (Oct 1, 2013); #697 Blue-footed Booby, Salton Sea CA (Oct 1, 2013); #698 Yellow-green Vireo, Laguna Rd. in Ventura CA (Oct 3, 2013); #699 Island Scrub Jay, Santa Cruz Is., Ventura CA (Oct 4, 2013); and #700 Rufous-backed Robin, Reid Park, Tucson AZ (Oct 6, 2013).
Neil Hayward: ABA Big Year #700
Neil Hayward hit 700 for his 2013 ABA Big Year recently with Blue-footed Booby (Patagonia Lake, August 19, 2013.) It was a life-bird too, and the first involving (unskilled and dangerous) use of a canoe! You can follow Neil's Big Year at http://accidentalbigyear2013.blogspot.com.
George Wood: ABA #650
George Wood saw ABA area #650 (Least Auklet) in Gambell in May, 2013. His first trip to Alaska produced 24 lifers and his count now stands at 668. He has been birding since 1968 (age 10). Eighteen months ago he hit 600 and has decided to pick up the pace for 700.
Chris Feeney: ABA #725
Chris Feeney recently saw the Red-flanked Bluetail in Vancouver, Canada for ABA number 725. This number was set up by a super trip to St. Paul Island last fall where he got 10 life/ABA birds including Little Stint, Pin-tailed Snipe, and Rufous-tailed Robin.
Craig Caldwell: ABA #700
Craig Caldwell wrapped up his quest for #700 in style with a trip to Alaska in late August, 2012. His stay on St. Paul and at Gambell yielded nine lifers. He reached ABA #700 at St. Paul with a Terek Sandpiper in Town Marsh. The Pin-tailed Snipe was #703 and he finished at Gambell with a Common Sandpiper for 705.
Gabriel Mapel: 2011 Junior Big Year
Without a huge budget or the ability to be away from home nearly the whole year, 11-year old Gabriel Mapel created the "Junior Big Year". Finishing at age 12, Gabriel sighted a total of 437 species in 2011. Some of his favorite sightings included Brown Shrike, Black-vented Oriole, and Gyrfalcon. Details are in his blog.
Bill Cook: World #4000
Bill obtained his 4000th bird, a Javan Hawk-Eagle at Halimun National Park on Java, on August 13, 2011 during a VENT Tour led by David Bishop. This trip which included the islands of Bali and Java added 80 species to his life list and brought it up from 3945 to 4025. Bill commented that although the Javan Hawk-Eagle is considered endangered, the best bird of the trip was, perhaps, the endangered Bali Starling.
Andrew Engilis Jr: ABA #700
Andy logged his 700th ABA bird, the Common Ringed Plover, in Yolo County, California on August 20, 2011. This was particularly rewarding because this gem was found in Andy’s backyard and in a county he has birded in for the past 30+ years! Thanks to Todd Easterla for the find and Kevin Guse and Sid England for their prompt phone calls.
Bradford Graham: ABA #600
On a trip to Florida in May, 2011, Bradford Graham reached #600 for the lower 48. Florida Scrub Jay was the bird followed up with almost 20 Snail Kites and a wonderful encounter with two Mangrove Cuckoos.
Dan Sanders: ABA #800
In May, 2010, Dan Sanders achieved the ABA #800 mark with a Bahama Mockingbird in Florida. Dan is now at #806, recently having added Brown Shrike, Black-vented Oriole, and Fieldfare to his list.
Robert Ake: 2010 Big Year
Bob Ake ended his Big Year with 731 species, the second highest total for a continental Big Year. Details
are on his blog, Bob's Birds and Things.
Christopher Hitt: 2010 Big Year
Chris Hitt completed his lower 48 Big Year in 2010 with a new record: 704 different species. Details
are on his blog, Slow Birding.
Ebbe Banstorp and Monte Taylor: Goose Triple Play
(Reported by Ebbe Banstorp)
Monte Taylor and I left Friday, November 19, 2010 from LAX and flew to Halifax, Nova Scotia to see the Graylag Goose that had been reported a few weeks earlier. Before leaving I had a long phone conversation with Fulton Lavender of Halifax, who gave us lots of good information on the Graylag’s favorite locations and habits. The most important of those was that the goose seems to fly into the area around Masstown about an hour before high tide in the Bay of Fundy. The day before we left, we got an e-mail saying that they had found a Pink-footed Goose in New Brunswick, the province just north of Nova Scotia. Early Saturday morning we drove from Halifax up to Lower Onslow. After having looked around for half an hour in all the Graylag’s favorite places, we happened upon Ian McLaren and Roger Foxall at the famous gravel pit. We joined up and drove to McWilliams Road a little after 10 am. The flocks of Canada Geese started to appear and we noticed many of them landing over the hill just east of our location. We therefore drove over to Board Landing road and looked through a few hundred geese there, and suddenly Roger found the Graylag. Monte was able to get quite good photos of the it. (Photos by Monte Taylor).
After quickly looking and photographing the Graylag (it did not take long because the temperature was not good for two Southern Californians), we drove to Cormierville in New Brunswick, about 90 minutes away, where the Pink-footed had been reported. As we were approaching that place we got a phone call from Stu Tingley telling us that a Barnacle Goose had been spotted on Prince Edward Island (PEI). I have been searching for that goose for more than 20 years. When we got to Cormierville, we quickly found the Pink-footed on the lawn next to the automobile repair shop together with about 40 Canada Geese. (Photo by Monte Taylor).
Again, after quickly looking and photographing the goose we quickly turned around and drove to New Glasgow on PEI. That took us about 2 hours and we arrived at the river bend near Hunter River about an hour before sunset, which was about 5 pm. During the drive Stu had given us the phone number to Dwaine Oakley, and as we neared the location Dwaine was giving us the detailed directions to the river where the Barnacle had been seen the day before. When we got there Dwaine and a friend (I am sorry, I did not get his name) were waiting for us watching flocks of Canadas flying in to roost in the river for the night (it is safer for them to float on the river during the night). After a while one of them spotted the Barnacle come flying in and noted where in the flock (that by now probably numbered 3000 geese) it had landed and we were able to see it well in our telescopes. (Photo by Monte Taylor). It should be noted that their day-time grazing grounds are on private property and strictly off limits. Next morning early Monte and I returned to have good light for photographing and Monte got some good photos.
That was a fantastic trip and we thank Fulton Lavender, Stu Tingley, Ian McLaren, Roger Foxall and Dwaine Oakley for all their help and support.
Perhaps in this quest for geese I should include the Taiga Bean-Goose that Monte and I saw about a week earlier at Salton Sea in Southern California.
Keenan Ennis: ABA #675
On May 14, 2010, Keenan Ennis reached his ABA #675 thanks to the Bar-tailed Godwit at Brigantine (Forsythe NWR), NJ.
Matthew Palmeri: ABA #280
In April, 2010, Matthew Palmeri, a 12 year old birder, saw a Brown Jay in Texas, which was his ABA #280.
Edward Borowik: ABA #800
On Feb 2, 2010 Edward Borowik saw the Amazon Kingfisher in Laredo, TX, which was his ABA #800.
Larry Peavler: ABA #850
Larry Peavler saw a Yellow-breasted Bunting in a bone yard in Gambell, AK on September 2, 2009. It was his ABA #850.
Kirk Zufelt: ABA #714
On his 2009 spring trip to Alaska Kirk got his 70Oth ABA bird at Gambell with a Steller's Eider at the seawatch. Other good birds for the trip included Taiga Bean Goose, Green Sandpiper, Smew, Eye-browed Thrush, Rustic Bunting and Hawfinch to name just a few. Red-legged Kittiwake was the last lifer of the trip bringing him to ABA #714.
Steve Kornfeld: ABA #800
Steve Kornfeld reached his ABA #800 with a Tufted Flycatcher which was seen in Arizona on May 17, 2008.
David Chaffin: Texas #400
Thanks to a cooperative Jabiru in Raymondville, TX in August, 2008, David Chaffin was able to reach #400 on his Texas list (and ABA #806, World #2612).
Mark Cudney: ABA #800
After 27 years of birding, Mark saw his 800th ABA bird - an immature dark-phase Red-footed Booby on the Dry Tortugas. Many thanks to his birding friends including Tim Steurer who saw most of them with Mark.
Alan Whitehead: ABA #600
Alan, who lives in England, has a particular interest in ABA birds. He has made 7 trips to Texas during the Easter fortnight, 2 three-week summer trips to California/Arizona and this past summer went to Alaska for 3 weeks.
By the end of his Alaska trip his ABA total was exactly 600.
Lamont Brown: ABA #1000
On February 8, 2008 Lamont was able to identify the White-collared Seedeater (Sporophila Torqueola) as world bird number 1000 on his life list. This was observed near the Las Palmas Nature Center in Laredo, Texas while he was attending the Laredo Birding Festival.
Jim Haw: ABA #750
Jim saw the Green-breasted Mango in Beloit, Wisconsin, in 2007 for his 750th North American lifer -- for the second time. He had reached 750 with a Little Stint in Kentucky in August 2006, but then dropped back to 749 when the Yellow-chevroned Parakeet was delisted.
Mike Austin: World #3,000
Mike found his 3,000th bird, a Maroon Woodpecker, on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo, in July, 2007.
Karl Stecher, Jr.: ABA #800
Karl got his 800th bird in January, 2007. He actually got both numbers 799 and 800 on the same day: Pink-footed Goose and Barnacle Goose in Newport, Rhode Island. He also has checked off all the Wood-Warblers. The last one he needed was a Slate-throated Redstart which he saw in June, 2005 in Carr Canyon, Arizona. The top birds Karl is currently seeking
are Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Eskimo Curlew, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Eurasian Hobby, and Eurasian Dotterel.
Robert Walton: World #7,500
Robert observed his 7,500th world bird, a Brown Jacamar, on the Gran Sabana of Venezuela in February, 2007.