2019 Year in Review

My end of year post is one that I usually very much look forward to writing, but this year that’s not really the case. Twenty-nineteen is a year that I won’t mind putting behind me. I went through personal, health, and work struggles for nearly the entire year; honestly I’ve never had a year like it. And, on top of that, the birds didn’t seem to cooperate as much as they have in previous years. Of course there were still plenty of great days, exciting finds, and even a handful of life birds, which isn’t bad considering I never left the tri-state area:

  1. Black Phoebe – Hainesville WMA, NJ (#417)
  2. Pacific Loon – Manasquan Inlet, NJ (#418)
  3. Townsend’s Warbler – Trenton Sewage Ponds, NJ (#419)
  4. Lark Sparrow – 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary (#420)
  5. King Eider – Sterling Forest SP (#421)

I wanted to mention some personal highlights for the year. In early February, I ran with Linda Scrima and Maria Loukeris for the Pacific Loon and the Townsend’s Warbler down in New Jersey. It was a long day of birding which was both a lot of fun and also very successful. On the 5th of May, Bruce Nott and I chased Common Terns and Bonaparte’s Gulls on the Hudson River in the rain; this was a super exciting day for me and rates as one of my best days of the year. Earlier this month there was a King Eider at Sterling Forest of all places. I spent two days looking at that bird; that was pretty exciting too. But, for me personally, the best day was in late March when I located a Yellow-headed Blackbird in the black dirt. I was pumped to have found the bird, and a good number of folks ran for the bird and got it.

~Pacific Loon at Manasquan Inlet in Ocean County NJ, 02/02/19.~


Unlike years past, this year it was a bit of an endeavor to come up with my top ten photographs. I feel like my criteria have changed. These days everyone is taking photos, and a lot of good ones at that. My Facebook feed is overloaded with them. For me, this has made it hard to find shots that stand above the rest. So, as I looked through my photos from the year, I felt a little underwhelmed. I had plenty of decent, even good shots, but not very many that stood out. But, as I looked over them further, I had to remember that I can be my own worst critic, and some shots started to speak to me and things started to fall into place and I developed my top ten plus one honorable mention.

~Semipalmated Sandpiper, Stone Harbor Point 08/04/19.~
~Always a favorite of mine, I was happy to get this clean shot of a Brant in flight at Shark River Inlet in Monmouth County, NJ 01/12/19.~
~Black-crowned Night-heron at a roadside stop in Stone Harbor, NJ 08/04/19.~
~Ruddy Turnstone at Stone Harbor Point, 08/04/19.~
~Northern Mockingbird at Harriman State Park, 07/04/19.~
~Common Yellowthroat at Glenmere Lake, 09/22/19.~
~Common Tern in flight at Two Mile Landing in Wildwood Crest NJ, 08/06/19.~
~Wilson’s Snipe at Glenmere Lake, 09/29/19.~
~Song Sparrow at Wisner Road in Warwick NY, 12/08/19.~
~Pectoral Sandpiper at Glenmere Lake, 10/05/19.~
~This shot gets honorable mention, only because of the bird, I mean it’s a Sora after all! I was thrilled when I got this shot, finally getting a shot of this bird. Wallkill River NWR, 05/25/19.~

So, this is not the cheery end of year post I have enjoyed writing in the past. But, I’m looking forward to 2020, and I’m feeling confident that it will be a better year than 2019. My health has improved, which will help with birding and with work, and I have my fingers crossed for no major personal issues. As usual, it was great birding with everyone this year and I’d like to thank everyone for all their help and support. Cheers!

10 thoughts on “2019 Year in Review”

  1. Matt,
    All of your shots are just great! I wish you a healthy, birdy, Happy New Year! Its always great birding with you! John

  2. All gorgeous!! So glad things have turned around for you. Saw PJ today …. he was asking for you. I hadn’t seen him in months. Happy New Year to you and Tricia. Love you both!

  3. Beautiful top 10+1, Matt. If I had to pick one, it’s the Northern Mockingbird at Harriman State Park, 07/04/19. The little bird looks suspended from a string. Thank you for the joy I get from your photos and blogs. May 2020 fill your heart and mind with renewed vigor and strength to deal with the odds.

    1. Thanks so much and good pick Norma, I love that mockingbird. It’s always good to hear that you enjoy the blog and the photos. Happy New Year to you, may 2020 be a great year. Matt

  4. Happy New Year Matt. As always, thanks for your amazing photos and wonderful blog that has taught me so much. Alot of us so look forward to sharing your experiences and being a part of your birding adventures. It means alot to us.

    Hoping 2020 brings a better year for you and your family. We all go through ups and downs. But like birding – you never know what’s just around the corner. So wishing you the very best in happiness and health for many New Years to come.

    1. As always, thanks so much for the kind words about the blog. I’m looking forward to 2020, and it’s true what you said – you never know what’s just around corner in life and birds and how it may change things. Happy New Year to you and yours, continued success with your work and happiness through the year. Matt

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