07 January 2012

Top Ten Lifers of 2010

Last year I broke precedent and didn't post my top 10 lifers of the year. So I'm going to give you a quick rundown before I post the top ten of 2011.

Top Ten Lifers of 2010

1. California Condor
Click the link to see photos from my lifer California Condors at Zion National Park. Definitely one of the highlights of the year. I will always remember that hike up to Boy Scout's Lookout at Angel's Landing. It gave me amazing views of this returned majestic bird.

2. Rosy Finch Trifecta: Black Rosyfinch, Gray-crowned Rosyfinch & Brown-capped Rosyfinch
Andy and I went to the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico to get this threesome. It was a pleasant surprise to see them from the warm inside of the visitor center with a cup of coffee in hand. Great up-close views!

3. Greater Roadrunner
This wasn't a warm sighting like the Rosyfinches. Andy and I were out at a WMA in New Mexico with cold winds but we found my lifer roadrunner in a big open prairie area.

4. Golden Eagle
On the way to White Sands, New Mexico we found this huge bird cruising by the roadside. We stopped the car and took in the eagle. It was a nice surprise and a great bird.

5. Common Black Hawk
Geraldine and I went to Sedona, Arizona and took a swim in a nearby creek. The water was both freezing and refreshing. On the way back to the car we spotted two Common Black Hawks mating. It was the perfect bird sighting to end such a beautiful day around Sedona.

6. Phainopepla
Another lifer found with Mr. Lantz in New Mexico. Who knew this was such a birdy state? I loved the Phainopepla. We had multiple looks at this guy wherever we went.

7. Acorn Woodpecker
Geraldine and I visited a great wildlife refuge in California where I found my lifer Acorn Woodpeckers. These guys are just strange looking. I love the caches they make in the trees and their color pattern is just so striking!

8. Whooping Crane
A little Central Florida birding gave me my lifer Whooping Crane with Kimmie. We had a great time birding the surrounding area. We topped the trip off by camping at Kissimmee Prairie State Park.

9. Long-billed Curlew & Whimbrel
Shorebirds like these don't show up often in Florida so it was a fun birding duo to find near the coast of California. What made the day even better was seeing my lifer seals and sea lions sunbathing nearby.

10. Black-chinned & Anna's Hummingbird
The end of the list goes to a hummingbird duo found at a state park in Arizona. These guys were only feet away and gave up crippling looks. I enjoyed my time in Arizona and look forward to more hummingbird action on the next trip.

Well that concludes a re-cap of 2010. Stay tuned for my Top Ten Lifer of 2011!

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