It has been hard to add new birds to the year and or Life List, since going into the hospital for surgery and recovering over the past 4 weeks or so. But I I have discovered, from the updated ABA Checklist, that I have two new ABA Life Birds. In February of 2017 I drove to over 6 hours to Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania for a Black-backed Oriole. It was a fun trip and the bird did not disappoint, though we had to view it from across the street in a neighbors driveway.
This past February I flew to New Brunswick and drove to Miramichi to see a just as rare, Mistle Thrush and again the bird put on a great show, especially in the morning sun on my second day there. Both were great birds for the Life List, but neither was on the ABA List at the time. Well, low and behold, the latest update has both birds as accepted species in the ABA area. So without flying or driving a mile, I have jumped from 674 to 676 and now only 24 species away from the joining the 700 Club.
Here in Ontario, I have had the good fortune to have a very rare for Canada, Great Kiskadee re-emerge from hiding and give me a new Ontario bird to chase. Back when it was being seen on a regular basis, I was suffering from a nerve issue in my spine and couldn’t drive the 3 hours to Rondeau Provincial Park to see it. But five weeks post surgery, the bird was seen again and I was ready to drive to add species 323 to my Ontario Life List.
And now begins one of my final trips of the year, to the annual Baseball Winter Meetings, this time in Las Vegas. Back when the Jays had a team in Nevada in 2012, I was doing a Big year and I was able to do a lot of birding area, including the amazing Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. I will return there and in addition drive up to Utah, to add another state to my eBird List, and hopefully a Lifer or two.