2015: A Year in Review

Shiny Cowbird
Shiny Cowbird
For me, 2015 was a fantastic year of birding.  I've been doing this a while now, so gone are the days when I get 70+ lifers per year.  New birds are fewer and farther between for me, but that adds to the challenge.  And I've begun focusing more on county listing, which helps to keep things fresh.  This year, though, I benefited tremendously by one trip out west and two trips out of the country. These were not birding trips, but I had a little bit of time to at least check my surroundings to see what was available.

Smooth-billed Ani
Smooth-billed Ani
I found 16 lifers on my visit to Antalya, Turkey
  1. White Stork 
  2. Eurasian Sparrowhawk 
  3. Laughing Dove 
  4. Eurasian Siskin 
  5. Common Buzzard 
  6. Eurasian Jay 
  7. Great Tit 
  8. White-spectacled Bulbul 
  9. Common Redstart 
  10. Black Redstart 
  11. Gray Wagtail 
  12. Common Chaffinch 
  13. European Greenfinch 
  14. European Goldfinch 
  15. Hooded Crow 
  16. White Wagtail
Great Tit
Great Tit
White Wagtail
White Wagtail
I found another 4 lifers in Acapulco, Mexico
  1. Bare-throated Tiger-Heron
  2. Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  3. Audubon's Oriole
  4. Rufous-naped Wren
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Cliff Swallow
Cliff Swallow
My trips to California and Alabama yielded 4 lifers
  1. Black Phoebe (CA)
  2. Wrentit (CA)
  3. California Quail (CA)
  4. Wilson's Warbler (AL)
Black Phoebe
Black Phoebe
Purple Swamphen
Gray-headed Swamphen
Within the State of Florida, I added 13 lifers:
  1. Broad-winged Hawk
  2. Curlew Sandpiper
  3. Spot-breasted Oriole
  4. Shiny Cowbird
  5. Smooth-billed Ani
  6. Gray-headed Swamphen
  7. Alder Flycatcher
  8. White-crowned Pigeon
  9. Long-tailed Jaeger
  10. Bell's Vireo
  11. Brewer's Blackbird
  12. Western Spindalis
  13. Red-whiskered Bulbul
  14. Scaly-breasted Munia (not countable)
  15. Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (not countable)
Neotropic Cormorant
The lists I care most about have to do with Florida, Seminole and Orange Counties. I decided to concentrate on Orange Co. more this year than I have in previous years. I wanted to see if I could get 200 species in both counties. I succeeded on both counts

County Year Life
290 346 (added 21)
Seminole Co.
218 244 (added 8)
Orange Co.
215 243 (added 22)

Bronzed Cowbird
Bronzed  Cowbird