In 2007, I saw 315 different species of birds, of which 284 were in Washington State (the only ones that really
count), another 9 in the rest of North America, plus an extra 22 I fell over on my brief trip to England.( For myself, and the one person on my f-list who will actually be interested enough to read it )
The last bird of the year was the Harris's Sparrow on December 14th in West Edison. December 14th is ridiculously early for a last bird of the year, since when I've looked for swamp sparrow (three times), chukar, grey partridge (see? It's those gamebirds again) and rosy-crowned finches, and they haven't obliged. The last Washington birds of the year were the eight short-eared owls floating about the Samish flats at the West 90 at 3.30pm on December 31st, replacing my sightings just over the border in BC. I'd looked for them in that same spot before, and there hadn't been any.
The West 90 is Birding Central for birds of prey, and it was an absolutely glorious afternoon, cloudless with the low sun over the golden, flooded fields, ringed by snow-covered mountains. I was standing in a single spot, watching a bald eagle having an altercation with three owls, the same eagle later disagreeing with a rough-legged hawk, and the ubiquitous red-tailed hawks and northern harriers cruising by. The low sun highlighted all the birds' colours and painted them with a few extras - even the bush full of streaky brown female red-winged blackbirds looked to be full of exotic yellow orioles, the effect was so dramatic. Not a bad way to finish the daylight hours of the year.( Where the Owls Are )
On other fronts, I managed to get only one fic out in 2007, all 8,750 words of it. To make that look a little less patheitc, I'm 48,800 words into my current WIP out of a likely 60-65k total, of which 37,300 are actually consecutive from the start. (I've also got 2,000 words of the fic after that - did I mention I never write in order?) The writing lost a lot of time to the birds this year, but my intention is to really push that fic now, and hopefully get it finished and beta-ready within a couple of months. Damn, I want to to see it done so badly, because that will finally tie up my novel-length Mexico arc. And I sure as hell never thought I'd write a novel....