Best Birds of 2016

This year’s birding started with a bang: Paul and I saw Florida scrub-jays up close on New Year’s Day 2016! The next day (Jan 2) was spectacular: we drove east to reach Storm water Treatment Areas 5/6, picking up limpkins along the way. We had originally signed up for the CBC there, and we should have stuck with that plan! We only went to visit, and didn’t have enough time to see all the sights. We did see snail kites and fulvous whistling-duck there though, which were what we had most hoped for. On the way out, we saw white-tailed kites along a dirt road we’d heard about from the local birders. The next day (Jan 3) we went to the Everglades, where we saw white-crowned pigeon.

When we returned home, we went up north to see the ivory gull that was drawing crowds from across the country!

Spring shorebird migration brought a ruff to Horicon. Later in the spring, a white-winged tern showed up at the Manitowoc impoundment. We would return there over the summer to see an Arctic tern in the same place!

After I defended my degree, Paul and I celebrated my defense by driving west to the Dakotas! We eventually found large flocks of lark buntings along rural roads in S. Dakota, and an American dipper in the Black Hills.

Then, I moved to my new home state, and had a great fall of birding (though I’ve retained some nemeses). I was able to take my first trip to the Twin Cities to see a sharp-tailed sandpiper not far out from the city limits. Not much later, a red phalarope showed up at a water treatment pond in northern MN! I won’t mention the misses, so as both not to detract from the great sights of the year, and also with hopes they’ll be on next year’s list to get their due attention. 🙂 It was yet another great year of birding!

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