November of 2008 will go down in history as the month that the American people regained their sanity and elected a President of whom we need not be ashamed. A minor footnote to some future history might also mention how great a month 10,000 Birds had in terms of traffic: it was our best month ever! As autumn gave way to winter across the northern hemisphere denizens of the internets came in droves to see what 10,000 Birds had on tap for them. Hopefully, some of them will come back. In addition to November being our best month ever we also had our best single day in terms of traffic, with over 4,300 visitors stopping by on Saturday the 22nd, many coming to see Green Herons and Their Groovy Necks after it was heavily stumbled. So, yeah, we three bloggers at 10,000 Birds are very thankful and hopeful that December will reward us well as November.
We had a great month in terms of internet visitors of the human kind but did we have as good a month finding bird visitors to assorted parks, preserves, and nature sanctuaries? To risk sounding like an unprepared vice-presidential candidate, I’ll say “You betcha!” From a Milky Stork in Singapore to Plain Chachalacas in Texas we 10,000 Bird bloggers enjoyed a wide array of avian entertainment. In addition to the aforementioned two we also spotted geese and a gull, Long-tailed Ducks, Surf Scoters, and Snow Geese, to say nothing of a remarkable non-avian, an Asian Water Monitor.
While single-species posts are fun to write (and read) much more fun is to be had from trip reports. And we had a whole pile of trip reports this month. Corey hit up Jamaica Bay on a sunny day while Charlie checked out the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on a rainy one (after he tantalized everyone with this preview post). Mike let everyone know about his nice weekend in Potter County, PA (slightly less awesome than Singapore, but, hey, he doesn’t work for an airline). Corey joined the Queens County Bird Club on a tour of southern Nassau County’s ponds in search of winter waterfowl, walked across Queens, and saw a killer in a park, none of which was quite up to Singaporean standards. Mike’s visit to Texas, however, might have lived up to Charlie’s visit to Singapore, seeing as Mike saw way too many great birds in Texas at the Rio Grande Birding Festival and deeply disappointed Corey by managing to see enough lifers to tie Corey at 435 life ABA birds (Mike also saw some great people in the Lone Star State).
What else was 10,000 Birds up to this month? Well, Charlie made like a horror movie villian and electronically stalked a Mediterranean Gull, Mike asked about a mysterious bird in Massachusetts, and Corey asked everyone to be our fan on Facebook. As for reviews, well, we had one, of Birds: The Art of Ornithology. Charlie got the controversy and comments flowing by asking “Are you a birder if you don’t carry binoculars?“. And Mike asked a simple question and got complex answers in his Pauaraque Pronunciation Poll.
Charlie hit the conservation theme hard this month, with a critique of a Korean official’s poor choice of words (and mindset) and by updating everyone on the survey work being done on the Sharpe’s Longclaw and the education efforts underway, all funded as a result of the Small African Fellowship for Conservation.
Jory continued in his position as 10,000 Birds quizmaster with quizzes numbered 6, 7, and 8. He also provided answers (he’s quite the obliging quizmaster, no?). We also had our usual skywatch posts written by Mike, and one by Corey when Mike was too busy looking at amazing birds in Texas to get one posted. Mike also did his usual amazing introductions to I and the Bird. Corey started a new feature, “Great Moments in Birding History” and did two of them.
All in all, it was a heck of a month. Here’s hoping December is as nice as November, and you can take a step towards making that wish come true by joining a Christmas Bird Count!