First off, I added Black-legged Kittiwake to my life list on Saturday. Here's a photo:
What makes it stick out from the Bonaparte's Gulls in the background is primarily it's black collar, but also the larger size and more elongated structure.
The bird made number 366 on my collective life list (I had 366 previously, but since learning that the Trumpeter Swans I've seen in Ohio are not countable, I took them off). The bird is number 323 on my ABA list, number 285 on my Ohio list, number 272 on my year list and 253 for my Ohio year list.
My year lists are at 273 for the ABA area and 254 for the state. Besides the kittiwake, I added Common Redpoll to the state list and Short-eared Owl and Greater White-fronted Goose for both.
Speaking of lists: We have a new Ohio Birding Checklist with ABA-style difficulty codes. The species are divided into 3 groups among the 6 difficulty codes: Easier to See Birds (codes 1 and 2: 205 birds)), Harder to See Birds (codes 3 and 4: 86 birds), and Review List Birds (codes 5 and 6:123). There are 414 bird species in total on the Ohio list. I'm really happy with this new checklist. It's a good way to measure how good of a year I'm having. For example, here's how my year breaks down by each code so far:
Code 1: 135 out of 136 (same for my life state list)
Code 2: 60 out of 69 (68 out of 69: life list)
Code 3: 24 out of 30 (29 out of 30: life list)
Code 4: 24 out of 56 (36 out of 56: life list)
Code 5: 7 out of 20 (11 out of 20: life list)
Code 6: 2 out of 103 (4 out of 103: life list)
One of our members in the Columbus Avids, Dan Sanders, has issued a challenge of sorts for us to try and see every one of the 205 commonly occurring birds in Ohio for 2008. Doesn't sound too hard, but could still be a challenge, as for 2007, I am missing 9 of the 205 common birds.
Another thing that is good about the list is it gives me some birds to concentrate on adding to the state list for next year, such as my two remaining "Easier to See Birds": Marsh Wren and Least Flycatcher. Other birds I don't have but should be able to add from the Harder to See Birds include Ruffed Grouse, Franklin's Gull, Golden Eagle and Cattle Egret. Everything else I am missing will probably have to be as opportunity allows.