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Monday, August 29, 2011

Centre County Big Year - Needs List

My Nemesis Bird for Centre County - Forster's Tern
Image Credit: Steve Blain

This year, I decided to make a run at a BIG YEAR for Centre County. My primary goal was to try and break the 200 species mark for the year. Although I have attempted it before, I have not been able to crack the 200 mark for the county. The best I have done in the past is 196.

Fortunately, I was able to surmount the hurdle on May 11th with the sighting of a Mourning Warbler along Scotia Range Rd. Like many of the birds I have seen this year, I got a tip from another birder through the State College Rare Bird Alert (SCRBA). In this case, as in quite a few others, the tip came from Drew Weber.

My secondary goal for the year was to take a shot at the county record of 224 species in a year which was set by Terence Schiefer back in 1985. In order to equal or surpass 224, I was going to need a bit of luck, some help from other birders and some cooperation from the weather. Fortunately, all three have panned out so far. Just this week, with a bit of assistance from Tropical Storm Irene, I got bird #224 - a Sanderling - at the beach at Bald Eagle State Park.

With four months left to go, and fall migration just heating up, I have a pretty good chance to add a few more species. With Drew Weber hot on my heels with 223 birds, I gotta keep moving... LOL!

I went through Birds of Central Pennsylvnia by Nick Bolgiano and Greg Grove and put together a list of needs for the county. I compiled the list on the basis of birds that have been seen in the county on a regular or casual basis. For the most part, vagrants and accidentals were excluded from the list. With a bit of good forturne, I should be able to pick up a handful of these birds.

2011 Centre County Needs
    Red-throated Loon
    Mute Swan
    Trumpeter Swan
    Black Scoter
    Ring-necked Pheasant
    Red-necked Grebe
    Snowy Egret
    Little Blue Heron
    Black-crowned Night Heron
    Yellow-crowned Night Heron
    Swainson’s Hawk
    Peregrine Falcon
    American Golden Plover
    Ruddy Turnstone
    Baird’s Sandpiper
    Buff-breasted Sandpiper
    Wilson’s Phalarope
    Red-necked Phalarope
    Red Phalarope
    Laughing Gull
    Greater Black-backed Gull
    Forster’s Tern
    Barn Owl
    Snowy Owl
    Long-eared Owl
    Sedge Wren
    Marsh Wren
    Bicknell’s Thrush
    Orange-crowned Warbler
    Kentucky Warbler
    Connecticut Warbler
    Clay-colored Sparrow
    Blue Grosbeak
    Brewer’s Blackbird
    Yellow-headed Blackbird
    Red Crossbill
    White-winged Crossbill
    Pine Grosbeak

#225, Forster's Tern, BESP, Sept 5th
#226, American Golden Plover, Nixon Rd, Sept 7th
#227, Ruddy Turnstone, BESP dame, Sept 8th
#228, Baird's Sandpiper, Nixon Rd, Sept 9th
#229, Connecticut Warbler, Scotia Pond, Sept 10th
#230, Marsh Wren, Julian Wetlands, Sept 18th
#231, Orange-crowned Warbler, Circleville Farm, Sept 23rd
#232, Clay-colored Sparrow, Panther Strip Mine, Sept 25th
#233, Peregrine Falcon, Musser Gap, Oct 2nd
#234, Dickcissel, Circleville Farm, Oct 3rd
#235, Ring-necked Pheasant, Toftrees Gamelands, Oct 11th
#236, Brant, Colyer Lake, Oct 27th
#237, Black Scoter, BESP, Oct 29th
#238, Red-necked Grebe, BESP, Oct 30th
#239, Red-throated Loon, BESP, Nov 14th
#240, Red Crossbill, David's Vista, Dec 18th


Drew said...

The race is on! My next birds are Gray-cheeked Thrush, Philadelphia Vireo, and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.

Here is my list...

Joe Verica said...

I think we each have 5 or 6 birds that are "gettable". Might be able to add a few others. Should pass 230! Next birds for me are probably Mute Swan, Peregrine and (hopefully) Forster's Tern.

Jeremy Medina said...

Very impressive! It will be interesting to see how your totals turn out.

Joe Verica said...

@Jeremy - thanks! BTW, I added your blog to my blog list.

Drew said...

So apparently 230 was no have a couple more that you should get no problem if you visit BESP regularly. Is 240 possible?

Joe Verica said...

@Drew - outside shot at 240. Would need some irruptive species like Crossbills and Grosbeaks, maybe a gull of two.