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Nancy's Big Year

My year has come to an end, as I am headed to the airport and a new adventure (ANTARCTICA!!). As many of you know, I had a Big San Diego County Year in 2018. I really hadn’t planned on this, but the year began with such an exceptional number of rarities, it seemed possible to beat Barbara’s impressive record. Unfortunately, fall migration fizzled, and birds I had expected to get never appeared.


My year ended with 384 species of ABA countable birds seen in San Diego county (I saw an additional 6 “non-countable” species as well). Most of the rarities I was able to document with photographs, with a couple of exceptions. The only “heard-only” birds (two owl species) were documented with recordings. There were 12 verified species seen in the county that I missed, half of which were on the ocean – Manx Shearwater, Guadalupe Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet, Black-legged Kittiwake, etc. Most of the land birds were on private property and could not be chased. I gave it my best, but came up short. All in all, I am happy with what I did accomplish.


Brennan challenged us to keep yard lists this year as well – mine stands at 85 species seen this year. My Ebird checklist streak is 731 days – at least one checklist a day for 731 consecutive days. So those are my numbers – 384, 85 and 731 – all of which are pretty darn good numbers!


I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all of you who reached out, offered encouragement, advised me,  tipped me off about a bird, and/or stood sea watch with me. Many people took on the task of searching for specific birds for me. Dave Povey took me out on his boat several times to search the high seas, and Gary Nunn has been a constant source of encouragement. It touched my heart to recognize all the support offered to me. We have a wonderful birding community here in San Diego, and I feel privileged to be a part of it. My thanks to all of you.


Happy New Year to everyone, and may 2019 be as good as 2018!


P.S. Great birds are sure to show up on the 31st – get ready everyone!


Nancy Christensen



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports