Birding Resolutions

For me, New Year’s only means one thing, I can reset my totals and try to find more birds than I found the year before. I hope you will take a moment to comment what your goals for 2015 will be in regards to birding. Here are a few of mine.

Last year in New Brunswick, I finished with 164 different species. This was three higher than 2013 so I was pleased. Just in my county, I found 150 species so I didn’t do a lot of traveling around the province in 2014. I was challenged to go for 155 in Carleton County (already at 38) so that will be my main focus this year. Getting 155 here should easily help me get over 164 for the year.

I also hope to find 12 more lifers for New Brunswick as this will bring me up to 200 total. Here are a few I should be able to find; Rough-legged Hawk, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Glaucous Gull, Boreal Chickadee, White-winged Crossbill, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Blackpoll Warbler, Willow Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Purple Sandpiper, Spruce Grouse.

Quite the variety isn’t it? Some I know I can find in my county, but others I’ll need to travel a bit. Over March Break I’m going to do some birding and hope to check a few of my list. I like to travel at least once to the Bay of Fundy as there are species there that I’ll probably never see around Woodstock.

My goals motivate me and my boys like to cheer me on which certainly increases my motivation. As you’ll see in the photo’s, there was a Snowy Owl around Hartland a few weeks ago. I took my two and four year old along and they were excited to be able to see it with me. Every time my two year old talks on the phone, he shares the story of finding a Snowy Owl. A great one to already have if they both choose to start a life list someday!

Here is what I’ve been seeing in January;

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker – I enjoyed watching it fend of the starlings a few weeks ago


Carolina WrenCarolina Wren – showed up once a few weeks ago. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore but I still was!


Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl – I cropped this photo to the max. As you can see, it was sleeping and we didn’t want to disturb it just to get a better picture. My boys could make out the white mound in the field and I zoomed in with my camera so they could get a closer look. It came in right at the end of the Hartland Christmas Bird Count count period and helped us end with 44 species!


Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle – I saw this pair keeping each other warm on a chilly day along the St.John River


Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak – lots of females on my street lately, haven’t been able to get a photo of a male yet though!



Evening Grosbeak – I’ve had flocks fly over a few times this month, but haven’t had one at my feeders yet


Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail – this was a nice surprise and a great addition for the Woodstock Christmas Bird Count. I actually checked this past Sunday and was surprised to see that one was still in the lagoon with the Mallards/Black Ducks.


Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse – aka “Partridge”. I found two up a tree while trying to find a pair of Great Horned Owls. They are quite easy to find around here unlike Spruce Grouse.



Rarities for January – for this month, these species are more rare for the season instead of for the area

Hoary Redpoll – this would be an exception as it can just be plain hard to find and give a positive ID to although a few have been found this winter. It is one I’d love to see but I’m not getting as many redpolls compared to 2013 so time will tell if I can find one this winter.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – found by me actually and the only one around this winter.

Northern Shoveler – also found by me. It was the first time one had ever been around for the Woodstock CBC and it was still there on January 1st (gone now) so I don’t have to worry about trying to find one later in the year.

Vesper Sparrow – one has been in Moncton for quite a few weeks now

Lark Sparrow – one has also been in the Moncton area


Until next time,

Nathan Staples

About Nathan Staples

I am a public school teacher who has always lived in New Brunswick. My wife and I have three boys who love to watch birds nearly as much as I do. We currently live in the province’s oldest town, Woodstock.

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2 Responses to Birding Resolutions

  1. Thanks for your comment Gilda! I live within the town limits of Woodstock NB with houses all around me. I have a very small yard, but it is surprising how many birds I do see. I maintain a yard list, well ebird does for me actually, and I have had 83 different species in the past 3-4 years! Most have actually been in my yard and others I’ve noticed flying over so they are part of the total as well. I find once you start to notice birds, you see and hear them everywhere!

  2. Gilda Blackmore says:

    So lucky you people in NB and on Gabriola! Gorgeous photos of gorgeous birds. Here in downtown London, Ontario I was lucky to see a Bluejay this year! and a pair of Cardinals; just the usual downtown city birds! I don’t get out of the downtown area much.