Being a frequent visitor to Cape May, it is high time to start keeping track of all the birds I see. Where to start? I bought a ABA Area Trip List at the Cape May Bird Observatory to first record all the birds I have ever seen.
I would like a more permanent journal, but this is a start. My list includes a rather meager number of only 130 species.
The 7.7 downloadable version for September 2014 of the ABA Birding Checklist can be found at this site and includes 987 species: http://listing.aba.org/aba-checklist/.
My goal is to increase my knowledge by participating in more birding classes in PA and NJ. I bought a Rite in the Rain All Weather Birder's Journal with a corresponding pen to use during these walks and classes and to keep track of what I see.
I like what these blogs suggest for keeping a birding journal, such as:
a. Include the species name, habitat, weather, date, appearance, behavior, vocalizations, and flock size.
b. Include a quick sketch.
c. Note the color and size of the beak, the eyes, legs and feet.
The folks at 10,000 Birds Blog have an excellent post about why to keep birding lists: http://10000birds.com/birdlist. I like how they have a digital running list for their life list and yearly list.
My goal is to at least double my number by the end of the year and keep a yearly list. I want to focus on shorebirds, gulls, warblers and sparrows.