Saturday, November 8, 2008


I'm at week number 7, and have one more to go. This time of year, the number and diversity of birds starts to drop off, so I start getting anxious to leave. But then I start thinking about what I might miss, and what work I'll have to do once I get back to the mainland. I island has that weird effect of driving you crazy, while also grabbing a hold of you. So, I'll just enjoy my last days out here, and then happily hop on a boat and head back.

In this post, I thought I'd tell you about the Farallist. A lot of birders keep lists of birds they've seen for a number of different areas. People have North American lists, world lists, state lists, county lists, and even yard lists. It gets to be a bit competitive at times, but usually is used as motivation to go out and look for new birds in a given area. The Farallones are no exception. A while back, one of the biologists took the time to organize the island lists of everyone into a single database, which is now an Excel spreadsheet. Anyone who spends time on the island is welcome to add their name and check off the birds they've seen. Now there are over 50 people who've done so. There have been some pretty well known individuals from the bird community who've spent time on the island, so it's exciting to pass one of them up. Recently, I passed David Allen Sibley on the Farallist. For those not in the loop, he's probably the most well known American birder and has published one of the best field guides out there. But on the Farallist, I'm ranked higher than him.

There have been about 420 bird species recorded on or around the island. The person with the most on his list, has seen 360 of those. But he spent 2100 days on the island over 20 or so years. We also have a yard list for the house, which consists of birds that were seen in the yard or by someone standing in the yard. That list is at 357, which is pretty astounding. I am currently at 171 and am ranked 36th. If I get out here next year, I'll have a good chance at breaking 200.

Haven't taken many pictures lately, but I figure that I have to throw a few into each post. It would be pretty boring just reading about a list of birds.

Indian Head through the fog

Sunrise in the fog
Yet another sunset

1 comment:

koko said...

ok hurry back!
lets have a boggle party with coots when you get back! bring my pen!!