Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Memories

Hey all, I know it's been spookily quiet around here, fall/winter of '08 was a very stressful, busy, and decidedly un-birdy time in my life. Here's a look back at my top 15 best birding moments of 2008. (I have a feeling the majority of them will have taken place in the UK...)

1. On December 10th, I got to participate in a pilot for a show about a birding competition, Richard Crossley's Wild in the City.
2. On September 21st, a friend from the East Coast was in the area, and we met up to get him some local lifers and bird in the Orange County area.
3. On the 28th of August, Richard Hall and I walked along the River Cam to Grantchester from Cambridge, and enjoyed the weather and the wildlife.
4. Also in August, I met a Cambridge local for a drive to Wicken Fen, where we enjoyed a quiet walk around the place, catching me a lifer or two and quite a few great shots of the scenery.
5. On friday the 15th of August, I attended the British Birdfair where I met birder Ilya Mclean, a Scottish birder currently living in England. He got me quite a few lifers just walking around the fair's location. I also ran into a few U.S. birders who attended the fair!
6. On August 12th, I found myself in Edinburgh, Scotland, where I met and birded with Torcuil Grant, a great Scottish birder who generously drove quite a distance to bird with me. He got me loads of lifers, and I was treated to views of much of the surrounding countryside as well.
7. On my first day in Cambridge, Richard Hall and I met to bird in Cambridge, around the many college gardens, and over through a field. I got a slew of lifers, and enjoyed a beer in a pub when we got a surprise shower from mother nature!
8. I participated in a Wetlands Survey in Huntington Beach in July '08. We were doing bird surveys of the marshes there for a snapshot of the current bird populations, concentrating on Belding's Savannah Sparrows, before they began restoration.
9. In June, I birded UCI's own Aldrich Park, where I wandered around snapping photos and enjoying the quiet morning of the usually, very busy campus.
10. on May 10th, I went on a pelagic out of San Diego, which dipped down to Baja California's waters to the Los Coronados Islands where we saw boobies!
11. On the 6th of April, I went camping out at Anza-Borrego desert with my UCI club - the Orange County Society for Conservation Biology. It was an amazing weekend for birds and cacti!
12. I spent a great day out hiking on my own at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park in March, where I saw and photographed all sorts of great plant and bird species. 
13. In March I published a hard-copy version of this blog online, for the year of 2007, available for sale here.
14. I was taking Ornithology back in Winter Quarter of 2008, and Bolsa Chica was just one of the great field trips with my lab class - all of which can be found in links to the side of this post.
15. In January, my friend Daryl came to visit, and we chased rarities all over Orange County, in the process boosting his county list by quite a few necessary species. 

Well that was a snapshot of 2008 for me - have a safe and Happy New Year, and see you in 2009!

1 comment:

rjhall said...

Sounds like 2008 was a great year for you - hope 2009 is even better!