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Some of us were keeping track of birds in 2012 and I asked what was everyone's best bird of 2012. Resin suggested a new threadů So let's hear your thoughts!
Regarding 2012, what was everyone's "bird sighting of the year"? Might not be the best bird or most rare, but what you would think was the best sighting. Maybe top three if you can't narrow it down.
Snowy Owl in February for me. I had to drive to a local small airport. The one guy on duty opened the gates and we followed him by car through the airport and down a runway! So besides the sighting, it was special treatment! Ha.
Close runners up were the Eurasian Tree Sparrows and the Rough-legged Hawks (including a dark morph) that I saw recently. Also i suppose, the collective group of warblers in the stream this year. I did not know that I was getting so many at one time.
I saw your question and have been thinking about this. There are so many cool birds.
Probably the best bird sighting is a Roseate Spoonbill. In Iowa! We were thinking the hurricane brought it in. This photo was taken at a zoo earlier in the year, not the one in the wild. It was clear in a scope but beyond my camera range.
At home, we had many great birds and these were what I was most hopping up and down excited about. A Northern Bobwhite finally popped up out of hiding. We heard him for a couple weeks before he showed himself.
I need to get the pictures on the computer yet, but we FINALLY have Black-capped Chickadees coming to our yard. They came by again today! We have been feeding the birds since 2008 and never had they come. After some time of wondering why not? Their little pictures are on most bird seed bags. It finally dawned on us... we don't have the right habitat. We're out in the country. Well, in spite of that, one came on Sunday (Still last year) to check out our bird retreat. Today were three and they yet don't seem quite at home as the other birds, so they very well could move on.
And I could keep going, but then many of you may have seen my earlier postings about other birds. :)
I'm at #172 as to the number of different bird species that I have photographed in Maryland (98% of them), Delaware and Virginia. I don't count it unless I get a photograph. I added two to the list in 2012 which aren't rare birds but I had not photographed them. They were the Red-headed Woodpecker and the Prothonotary Warbler.
I think the answer to this question will change on a daily basis, so here are my thoughts today...
The Buff-bellied Hummingbird that I saw for the first time in 2012 thrilled me with his flitting about feeding and chasing off other hummingbirds. It was almost impossible to get a shot because it didn't stay in one spot for long.
Two other birds that I saw for the first time in 2012 were so beautiful that they stay high on my list of favorites - a Cerulean Warbler and a Summer Tanager.
And, I always love to see Painted Buntings. They are such beautiful birds, even when drenched right after a bath.
What a wonderful thread. I've enjoyed reading all of your posts. It's so interesting to see what is unusual or special for other people.
I have been thinking about this for a while too. I actually made a photo flipbook of my favorite birding moments and it has more than 20 photos in it! Here are my top three (I guess -- like Patti -- the top 3 at the moment!)
1. Snowy Owl near Dallas. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and a big owl fan, so this was a double delight.
2. American Bittern that walked all around the car.
3. Merlin eating dragonflies who just let me watch her for a long time.
Very close runners up were: Burrowing Owl (my first and way too cool!), Great Horned Owlettes, Yellow Rail that hovered (caught in the wind) right in front of my face, colony of Swallowtail Kites, and my first Scaled Quail. Dang it was a good year!