|One of my favorite moments from this year in the grasslands as Pronghorn come to get a sip|
|a very cold Red Fox in Maine|
|watching youth get excited about birds in the Caroni Wetlands of Trinidad was a hopeful moment|
|the guide means well but this capuchin was not having it. He was throwing branches at us to let us know to stay away. This wasn't the first encounter I've had with this species. Once I had a mango thrown at my head on Coiba Island!|
|My amazing room at the Asa Wright Center. I loved it!|
|The Scarlet Ibis were one of the many Trinidadian Highlights|
|Fresh produce markets inspire and I become inspired back home and find my own way of getting fresh produce.|
|The amazing Oilbirds of Asa Wright!|
|the 'Apapane is one good looking Hawaiian endemic!|
|a security detail goes ahead of me as we count birds like Red Warblers in this private sector of Malinche|
|I do research in the local gardens around Tlaxcala and find a migrating Nashville Warbler|
|Happy and fresh produce with Delfina! She makes my favorite cream of pea soup!|
|We discover the southern most range of Evening Grosbeaks in central Mexico and it blows my mind away!|
|Black-legged Kittiwake in Glendale, AZ!!! Worthy of a state chase!|
In Arizona, I added 18 new bird species to my state list. In Pima county, I added 11 new birds. And for my life list, I added 120 new life birds.
|This is just some of them!|
And Bernie was a guy I knew growing up. He was vital in the creation of Woodland Dunes. I knew I was on nature's side when I heard a council member, who I knew well, speak of building lots of factories in Bernie's established Woodland Dunes. I didn't agree with the guy then and kept my mouth shut because I supposedly didn't know anything. I was a stupid kid. Secretly, I hoped Bernie would win and protect this land that I used as my playground. I knew the forests well around that area. We had forts. We knew where the deer hid. Monarchs and snails and birds loved this little woods. Then one day, my playground forest and her little winding creek were wiped out and buried for "progress". I was stunned by the emptiness. It was GONE! Bernie's land was next to "mine" and in jeopardy but thankfully Bernie won. And those factories? Yeah, most of them are empty buildings now because the jobs went elsewhere. We wiped out a creek and a woods for nothing. But for all the fights, Bernie won against the establishment and today Woodland Dunes is one of our finest landmarks. Thank you Bernie and Barb for your contributions to the important preservation of this planet.
What can I say about 2018? The more I experience with the birds; the more I know. Birds bring people together. Birds make us see things that are happening around us. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Sometimes I feel like I'm becoming a bird. I want to be outdoors all the time and not caged up inside a room. In November, I had a hard time piecing together a general outline for birding next year. Today, I am happy to say that I have several projects lined up for 2019 that will take me into the summer. I had to juggle a tighter budget for this next year which made things a challenge. However, it's going to be an exciting ride!
I'm wishing you all a wonderful new year! I think January will mark a new milestone for this blog as we hit a million views. Thank you for following and being a part of the weekly adventures!