If you have been following this blog, you know I would be content to bird my local area. But by having a birding goal or plan it gives me the push to explore different areas and habitats. Something I, and everyone else, needs to do on occasion to expand their birding knowledge.
So with that being said I have been thinking for a few weeks about what my birding plans should be for 2015. I was thinking about maybe a Marion versus Johnson County total or some variant. But I just wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted to do with the time I have.
With the price of gas down and not quite certain what my new job will bring, I ‘ve decided to work on my Indiana Life List. I know this isn’t my usual “birding the local area,” but I’m not sure how often I will be around the local area.
This doesn’t entail “chasing” but birding the right areas at the right times to add birds to my state life list. This is birding a way a lot of birders go about it. Like visiting Lake Michigan in winter for gulls and waterfowl. Or going to Goose Pond in winter for hawks or owls. Those type of outings.
Checking my state life list I figure there are a possible 42 species I could see by doing “normal”, non-chasing, birding around the state. And another 18 if I get lucky. So hopefully I can get 75% of the possible species, 25% of the lucky ones, plus 5 I hadn’t figured on. Like a Snowy Owl. So I hope to add 40 species to my Indiana Life List.
And I will probably have the opportunity to bird several different areas in the U.S. which means working on my ABA list. Plus hopefully get back to the tropics this year. But that hasn’t been worked out yet.
I Have Already Added 4 Species to My Indiana Life List This Year
OK, technically 3. I went ahead and added Whooping Crane since the ABA changed the rule on Whooping Crane countability. I saw them in 2013 at Goose Pond.
Mike Clay asked I go along and participate in this year’s Muscatatuck CBC on January 1, a count he has been helping with for 10 years.. The birding was slow but we did see 2 Trumpeter Swans, though they weren’t in our count area.
On the way back we checked out the Snowy Owl that has been in the Jonesville area. As with most Snowy Owls I encountered in Illinois it was using something as a wind break.
And Saturday I birded Eagle Creek in the rain and saw the easiest bird on my Indiana List – Pine Siskin. I watched them at the Ornithology Center’s feeders. Seeing birds not in a natural habitat isn’t something I like, but I have never seen Pine Siskin anywhere but feeders in the Midwest. So I will count them and move on.
So what are your birding plans for 2015?