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...>
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.