New Year, added focus.
Every year, I want to go birding more, and every year, I eek a little more out of birding, try different things, make it more productive I think. I really like eBird, and last year I expanded my use of it. Things kind of tapered off at the end of the year though.
After New Year, I decided to go birding around Lake Morton after I got off work. So far, this has been a pretty good activity, the couple of times I've made it. There's a bunch of introduced swans and ducks, but for some reason, this is the lake all the winter diving ducks seem to hang out. All winter, Scaup, Ring-necked, and Ruddy ducks play around. There's even a bunch of American pelicans that hang out around the edge of the lake in the winter. Summer time, there's still waders of all kinds, Wood ducks, occasional Solitary Sandpipers, not to mention all the exotics that are kept as wild pets.
There's the local hotspots as well, especially Circle B Bar Reserve. The sandpipers there have really been showing out! Reports of Ruff, Western, and a Phalarope. I got Stilt, Pectoral, White-rumped, Solitary, Least, and Semipalmated sandpipers in addition to a nemesis bird: Bobolink!
Holloway shines bright as the closest hotspot to my house. I'm still sparrowless at that site, but I'm managed to see 73 species there so far. This year, I've added 8 species to my site list there, and I've got high hopes for the rest of the year. Even after the sandpiper blitz at Circle B, Holloway is still the place I've seen the most species of birds. It's my goal to be 90+ species there by the end of November.
I also want to expand out of Polk county. Get into Pinellas and Ft Desoto. Visit some of the other coastal spots. I anticipate a birthday big day that encompasses the I-4 corridor somehow. This summer I plan to visit my parents, and I want to open up some places on the way there, and where they live with the kids. Visit the Louisiana State Arboretum and Chicot state park. The kids would like it there, I think. It seems to be set up similarly to the nature center at Circle B Bar. I want to tromp around Kisatchie National Forest looking for Red cockaded woodpeckers!
I'm making plans. Plans to bike and go birding, hike and go birding, teach kids about the outdoors and go birding. I can't wait to find out what I'll see next.