Date: 1/2/18 6:53 am
From: David Gibson via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Fwd: [MASSBIRD] Looking back at 2017
With Doug's permission, I'm re-posting his earlier post here. Many of us
can relate to the content, what he conveys re: the joys of birding, slowing
down a bit etc.Reflect on/enjoy, Dave Gibson, Chesapeake

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: DOUGLAS E CHICKERING <dovekie...>
Date: Mon, Jan 1, 2018 at 10:28 PM
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Looking back at 2017
To: Massbird <massbird...>
Cc: Douglas Chickering <dovekie...>


Massbirders:

As is usual for Lois and I, and probably for many of you, the
last days of December are days when we reflect back on the previous year.
Was it a good birding year? What it a disappointing birding year? Of
course, there really are no bad birding years. For me the year has been
different from the past ones. Due to circumstances with Lois health there
have been limitations to our birding this last year; as there was in 2016.
The result being the empty spaces on my Checklist of Massachusetts Birds
for 2017. There were misses that have been surprising and disappointing and
for many could be considered depressing. But nothing about birding
depresses me nor Lois and though the character of our birding has altered a
bit it still is the most fulfilling thing we do on a regular, or
semi-regular basis.

This year there were few rarities. Only one write-on our
checklist. The uncommon and rare birds were there all through the year but,
in general, we just couldn’t get to them. Our chasing days such as they
were in previous years, are pretty much over. And this was what created
those blank entries on our checklists. Still there were highlights and
exhilarating moments. And the luster and beauty are still there. Also, now
I find a new appreciation for birds and events that had seemed more prosaic
and uninteresting during more abundant years. The staging of the Tree
Swallows on Plum Island, were spectacular. The Nighthawks over our yard,
always a thrilling event in our household was more so this year for there
were three or four days of sightings and often more than one bird. Although
I didn’t see a Canada Warbler, or a Hooded, or a Cape May, there were many
breathtaking views of Blackburnians, Bay-breasteds, and of Scarlet
Tanagers. Then there was the ora!
nge-crowned Warbler in the S Curves and a startling good look at a
Connecticut Warbler at Hellcat. It would be petty to whine about a year in
which you got good looks at a Connecticut warbler and an orange crowned.
So, I am actually grateful for the new prospective and satisfied with my
past year even though it is different in nature. It is still birding. I am
still thrilled to see the Snowy Owl in the marshes, the Black-and White
darting through the trees and the Solitary Vireo at the end of a newly
budding twig.

And then there was the spectacular interlude of having a Golden
Eagle, soaring slowly overhead, right over our deck. The next year begins
as January comes in with its sanitizing, penetrating cold. And now we can
do it all over again.

Doug Chickering

Groveland

<dovekie...>
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