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Saturday, December 31, 2022

Top 10 Birds of 2022

Another year in the books, and another year where I didn't leave the U.S. and hardly traveled outside of Pennsylvania. Here's to more travels in the new year!  eBird has me down for only 279 species this year, with 224 of those right here at home in Delaware County, PA. So for sure I need to get out more!  That said, here are my Top 10 Birds of 2022.

Gray-headed Swamphen--Overdue new life bird for me, I picked it up on a quick trip to Florida for my youngest daughter's singing competition in May.  Been waiting to see this one for decades since they first became countable after escaping and colonizing Florida in the early 1990s. #Lifer

Gray Kingbird--Another overdue lifer for me, finally in Florida the right time of year for it. #Lifer

Hermit Warbler--a first record for Pennsylvania and Delaware County, found by visiting birders over the Thanksgiving Weekend and subsequently seen by hundreds of local birders as it played peek-a-boo with birders in a row of pine trees between an apartment building and a suburban church parking lot. Breaks the mind to imagine how many rare birds are lurking out there in unbirded marginal habitat! #NewCountyBird

White Ibis--a mind-bending new county bird for me. While not completely unexpected, it was found by a hiker along Ridley Creek in a heavily wooded section of the park, so another bird in a seemingly random spot. #CountyBird

Barnacle Goose--A new county bird for me, spotted by friends in a large Canada Goose flock that we monitor for rare geese at Springton Reservoir. It flew to a nearby Middle School field to forage and I was able to connect with it there. #CountyBird

Little Gull--another new county bird for me, long-wished for by several of us in the county, first one reported here in decades. I spent many days watching the river behind the PHL airport hoping to find one mixed in with migrating Bonaparte's Gulls, and on the best day finally was able to find a beautiful breeding plummeted adult bird very close to shore with over 400 Bonaparte's Gulls. #CountyBird

Long-eared Owl--very hard to find locally, a friend spotted one being mobbed by Blue Jays and a few of us were able to get there before it disappeared. A new Delaware County bird for me. #CountyBird

Arctic Tern--there was a major invasion of these birds in the Delaware Valley after strong onshore winds during their spring migration. I missed most of them and didn't get great looks, but a new county bird for me, so I'll take it! #CountyBird

Alder Flycatcher--a rare local migrant, great to get this for my yard list--a bird calling in the early morning of 31 May while I was listening in to my NFC microphone recording live on my rooftop. #NewYardBird

Horned Lark--another scarce local bird, heard flying over my house in October. #NewYardBird

Honorabler Mentions

Rare County Birds--Connecticut Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Red-necked Grebe, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Stilt Sandpiper.

Rare Yard Birds--King Rail (NFC), Evening Grosbeak, Swamp Sparrow (new)

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