Date: 12/30/19 2:29 pm
From: Shilo McDonald <shilocm...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] My Freshman Year - Thank You
Remember the excitement of your first year of birding? When every bird was new? That first year, a Life Bird was hidden inside of every thicket.

Well my friends, 2019 was my first year. And for me, that's how it felt. A new discovery every week.

Kentucky Warbler, Royal Tern, Grasshopper Sparrow, Upland Sandpiper, Wilson’s Plover, Lark Sparrow, Gull-billed Tern, Barnacle Goose, Hooded Warbler, Lark Bunting, Caspian Tern... All Life Birds!

In fact, in Massachusetts this year I've seen 277 species. (And 270 of those were spotted in Essex County!)

Not bad for a first year. Even if we subtract all the ones I got wrong. :-D

BUT, I wouldn't have seen even half of those birds, if it wasn't for the Brookline Bird Club, Essex County Ornithological Club, MassAudubon, MassBird and so many birders who helped me along the way. A heartfelt THANKS to Pete Gilmore, Andy Sanford, Steve Babbitt, Linda Ireland, Jan Smith, Steve Grinley, Mary Margaret Halsey, Susan Hedman, Linda Ferraresso, David Williams, Carol Disney, Barbara Volkle, Soheil Zendeh, Warren Tatro, Eric Labato, Geoff Wilson, Tim Walker, Nancy Walker, Dan Prima, John Nelson, Bob Stymeist, Margo Goetschkes, Ian Pepper, Matt Padulo, Marjorie Watson and Tom Wetmore.

You taught me the things I couldn't find in my books. To remember to have fun. And to laugh at yourself. Like when Linda F. taught me, "To tell the difference between House Finch and Purple Finch, just remember one is strawberry red and one is raspberry red." Easy right? Now if only I could remember which one she said was which...? Ha ha! ;-)

Sharing with me your experiences, tips, tricks and cautions - you ALL made me a better Birder. And for that I am truly and sincerely thankful.

Happy New Year to you and yours! and Happy Birding!
Mr. Shilo McDonald, Lynn, MA
ShiloCM at yahoo dot com

"There's life before birding and life after birding. But, it's the life during birding, which I prefer."

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