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November 2012: Retrospecticus

November 30, 2012

So November, the white-hot epicenter of rarity chasing, has come and gone and it seems like every birder in North America except for me has spent the month looking at ridiculous rarities.  Well, I guess that’s not entirely true, this has actually been a pretty good month for the birds, starting and finishing with a North Carolina Iceland Gull at Falls Lake.  So, admittedly, for some this complaint will fall on deaf ears.

In fact, I retract it all.  This was a pretty great month.  Lots of exciting things, not necessarily related to field birding, happened.  I wrote about most of them.

Carolina Wren, Falls Lake-Rolling View, Durham Co, NC

Barack Obama won re-election, no doubt bouyed by my ringing “at least he beats the other guy” endorsement.  Seriously though, I realize the environmental movement has been something of a whipping boy for nigh-on 35 years now, but it would be nice to see at least one of the major political parties give a flying flip about, as polls show, a significant majority of Americans care about.  By that I mean conservation of public lands.  Though that enthusiasm gets somewhat muted when you start talking about specific tracts of land it seems to me.  Anyway…

There’s a new Central Asian field guide out from Princeton Uni Press.  It’s really good.  Now I just need to get to Central Asia.

I and the Bird is back, and better than it was before.  By that I mean ever.  We did Nuthatches.  Current theme is Cormorants.  Send me some posts if you have ’em.

I finally cracked 200 species in my first county, Durham.  200 was a Lesser Black-backed Gull.  201, the next day, was that beautiful Iceland Gull.

Non-milestone birds managed to stick themselves in front of my camera too.  A Sharp-shinned Hawk and a nice mixed flock of passerines and others.

Posts for 10,000 Birds include a trip in the field with my son and some thoughts on the thousands of Pine Siskins that have shown up around here lately.

Thanks for reading and commenting.  On to December!

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