Pennsylvania Birdlists Summary 2005

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Compiled by Peter Robinson

As usual, some rarities were found in the state that stayed long enough to become additions to state and county life lists.

They included the Franklin County Varied Thrush found in December 2004 that stayed until 4/2/05, the Varied Thrush in Lancaster County from 2/1 to 2/6, and the Townsend’s Solitaire in McKean County 1/15 to 4/2.

A Harris’s Sparrow returned to Northampton County 1/18 and stayed until at least 2/19, followed by a second Harris’s Sparrow in McKean County for a few days in May, and a third one seen in Juniata County 12/1 through the end of the year.

Then there was the amazing record of the Redwing at Peace Valley, Bucks County – it was seen only on 2/5, but about 50 birders got there in time to see it.

There was a California Gull at Lancaster County’s Conejohela Flats 5/14 that was seen by at least 11 birders. Then there was the Seaside Sparrow in Dauphin County that a few birders got to see 5/25, and the 7/24 Sooty Tern at Conejohela Flats in Lancaster County that 5 people saw.

A Western Kingbird found7/28 in Indiana County was seen again 7/29 & 7/30 – followed by another in Northampton County 10/30 to 11/6.

There was a report 8/6 of Eurasian Collard-Doves in Chester County, and as many as three were seen until at least 8/13.

A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher found 8/18 in Franklin County stayed for a while, until at least 8/27.

Several birders got to see a Pacific Loon at Lake Ontelaunee, Berks County, 11/25-27.

A White-winged Dove was seen at a private home’s feeder by some of the Bucks County area birders from 12/9 to 12/20.

There are 63 birders now whose Pennsylvania life lists are 300 or more, an increase of one from the end of 2004.

Fourteen birders now have PA life lists of 350 species or more, an increase of four.

There are still seven birders above the 300 mark in the PA Life List-Unassisted category — species found by the individual, or by another person with whom they were birding at the same spot at the same time, but not including “chase” birds.

There are 12 County Life Lists of 300 or greater — 2 for Bucks, 2 for Erie, and 8 for Lancaster County, with no additions during 2005.

There were five lead changes among the County Life Lists. Geoff Malosh now has the high County Life List for Beaver County; John Fedak has the high for Clearfield, Elk and Forest Counties; Dick Byers has taken the lead in Westmoreland County.

There were new high County Annual Lists for 8 of the 67 counties: Geoff Malosh’s 233 species for Allegheny, Mark Vass’s 202 for Beaver, Carol Hildebrand’s 157 for Clinton, Deuane Hoffman’s 251 for Dauphin and 158 for Lycoming, Greg Grove’s 164 for Mifflin, Deuane Hoffman’s 227 for Northumberland, and Tom Clauser’s 225 for Schuylkill.

There are two counties for which the highest annual list was accomplished back in the last century, in the 1960’s – John Miller’s 241 for Delaware in 1969, and his 225 for Philadelphia in 1965 (40 years ago).

This year’s new “Total Ticks” category is the grand total of all species seen in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. If a person sees a Blue Jay in all counties, they would have 67 “total ticks”. Total Ticks is simply the total of all of your county life lists. Perhaps this category will encourage some birders to venture out into different counties more often.