Birder's Guide

OCT 2014

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 37 of 57

30 Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy | October 2014 y birding beginnings date to the fall of 2003. While walking my dog, I spotted a cute little black- and-white bird and wondered what it was. My perusal through an old Peterson feld guide eventually found a match: Black Phoebe. After repeating this "puzzle" an- other time or two, I was hooked. I thought birding would be an inexpen- sive, fun hobby, with my only needs be- ing a pair of binoculars and a feld guide. Wrong! Not only did I need more and more equipment, but I needed to travel. Thus a trip to Nova Scotia in the summer of 2006 led to a chance meeting with bird- ing expert Paul Lehman. He challenged me to do my frst San Diego County big year in 2007. I ended up with 350 species. I started 2013 off quietly, with the goal of topping my previous record. Jay Keller had a record-setting San Diego County big year in 2012, which helped plant the seed of another big year for me. So, on the morning of January 1, I recorded 52 birds—hardly a record-breaking num- ber—but the full potential of my home county lay waiting to reveal itself. San Diego County is a great birding playpen: 1 • The county is large, including some 4,526 square miles of land plus ocean M County 2013 Big Year A New ReCoRd San Diego County Sunset off the coast of La Jolla, San Diego County, California. Photo © Jordan Edgcomb Photography

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