Good Points: Our area produced 2 Pacific-slope flycatcher, a common summer bird which normally doesn't occur here in winter, especially this far inland. We were the sole team to get this bird for the count, so pretty sweet.
Also, found a white-faced Ibis (unusual for the park), and 4 Townsends Warblers, a rare winter visitor for the San Diego area.
3 County/State Birds for me: Canvasback, American Pipit, and American Goldfinch
Preliminary count for Escondido currently stands at 144, with more teams still to report in.
Bad Points: Complete failure to observe any Cedar Waxwings, which are pretty reliable for the park and the best bet for Escondido. Another group failed to observe and Zone-tailed Hawks at the Wild Animal Park, likely due to weather.
Also, ran across a guy playing football with himself, who was rather rude when we stood to long near him. And yes...you read that correctly. Playing football with himself.
This brings me to the year in review, something I did last year, and will continue to do. Two posts on development in my life as a 25 year old college student, and as a naturalist. The personal life area will be a separate post, probably tomorrow
First off, several milestones were reached in listing. I surpassed 500 birds on my lifelist, as well as 100 mammals. I went on my first pelagic trip, made my first visits to the Salton Sea as well as a return visit to Arizona, and generally birded like a mofo. Most of San Diego's more widespread birds have been ticked off, with only the more distant and range restricted species being left, besides vagrants, seabirds, and nightbirds. I also became sort of a familar face in the birding community through my "twitching" efforts.
In regards to other animals, I got my first real good looks at Whales, my first western snakes, and got to experiment with a little bit of night-cruising
So....without further ado:
Coolest bird of 2005: Laysan Albatross
"Best" bird of 2005: Probably Thick-billed Kingbird
Coolest Mammal: Bighorn Sheep or Kit Fox
Coolest Herp: California Mountain Kingsnake
Most frustrating, missed bird: Lincoln's Sparrow
World Bird List: 509
ABA (North America): 402
Mammal Life list: 103
Herp Life list: 72