The year 2010 was proclaimed the International Year of Biodiversity, and, keeping in with this theme, it was a fantastic one for seeing a variety of wildlife. I added new amphibians, birds, butterflies, dragonflies and mammals to my life lists and encountered many other wonderful creatures in my travels.
I wasn’t able to get out as often as I had hoped, and fell short of my goal of reaching 200 bird species in the in the Ottawa area. When I did go out, I usually stayed pretty close to home, visiting favourite west end trails and parks such as Jack Pine Trail, Mud Lake, Andrew Haydon Park, Shirley’s Bay, and the Richmond Lagoons. I never made it to Petrie Island or the Baxter Conservation Area at all in the warmer months of the year, and visited the airport twice and the Cedar Grove Nature Trail in Marlborough Forest only once.
I tallied 191 bird species in total for 2010, and only 175 in the Ottawa area. A few notable misses include Snow Goose, Surf Scoter, Sharp-shinned Hawk (due to my inability to distinguish accipiters from a distance; I did see a number of these woodland hawks during the course of the year which I couldn’t identify), Northern Shrike, Tennessee Warbler, Northern Waterthrush and Rusty Blackbird. As well, the winter of 2009-2010 was not a good one for visiting winter species such as owls and finches. My attempts to keep year lists for other types of wildlife met with failure, and one of my goals for 2011 is to keep better lists of mammals, amphibians, insects, etc. that I see during the year.
Nevertheless, I had many amazing encounters in the past year. In fact, I couldn’t limit myself to my favourite ten or twelve moments of the year, so instead I am listing my top 20 favourite moments.
Here, then, are my top 20 favourite moments of 2010…
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