We are almost 3 days into spring and so far it seems like winter just does not want to let go. Here in New Jersey we’ve been hit with another nor’easter (or “Four-easter” as the news has been calling it). The last two days have been snow days for me, which of course I appreciate, but I really just want it to feel like spring.
All this winter weather has given me time to reflect on my winter birding this year. I’d have to say that this is probably my most successful birding winter to date. In January I started a “Year List”, where I write down each species I see for the first time in 2018. From January 1st to March 8th I have observed 81 different species. A lot of people don’t realize that there are still a lot birds around in the winter (especially waterfowl), but even I didn’t realize how many there actually were! 5 of these 81 species were life list birds for Dave and I. Here are some of our 2018 winter birding highlights:
- Our first Common Goldeneyes at Amico Island
- Redheads and a surprise Tufted Duck in the same day! (as well as 11 other species of waterfowl at Lake of the Lilies for the Great Backyard Bird Count)
- Brown-headed Nuthatch and Lesser Black-backed Gull at Chincoteague NWR
- March Birding Vacation at Blackwater NWR (Maryland), Chincoteague NWR (Virigina), and Prime Hook NWR (Delaware)
- 4 Snowy Owls this winter!
- Christmas Eve 2017 at the Holgate Unit (LBI) of Edwin B. Forsythe NWR.
- 2 Snowies at the Brigantine Unit of Forsythe on February 25 when our camera died (so just bad cell phones pics of them).
- 1 this past Sunday, March 18. It’s probably one of the same Snowies from February, but this time our camera worked! Dave a got a pretty decent shot for how far out the bird was.
This year’s Snowy Mega Irruption certainly treated us well. I feel so lucky to have seen so many Snowies in one season!
In my past life (the non-birding one lol), I used to hate winter. In my new awesome birding life, winters are the best! So many cool birds to see, you just need to get on your cold weather gear and find them.
Now that spring has arrived (“supposedly” ha), I’m looking forward to seeing home many species I add to my year list.
What are some of your favorite winter birding moments of 2018? Tell me about them in the comments.