Birding 2021 – Merced County

Tundra Swans at the San Luis NWR

When someone mentions that they are doing a Birding “Big Year,” immediately thoughts of the famous 2011 movie “The Big Year” with Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin come to mind. However, my Merced County “Big Year” might be best called a Casual Big Year. While my primary birding destinations will be in Merced County, I will not be attempting to track down each and every rarity that is reported there.

Beginning of Year eBird Statistics:

Life Merced County Species as of 12/31/2020: 178
Life List GOAL by 12/31/2021: 235
Year List Goal by 12/31/2021: 225

2021 Species Updates as of 1/5/2021
Life List = 178
Year List = 96

Jim’s Smugmug Merced County Big Year Album

eBird Hotspot Checklist Anecdotal Posts

In Search of a 5-Star Rated Vermilion Flycatcher Photo

After seeing several recent excellent photos of the returning Vermilion Flycatcher by Doug Krajnovich at Lake Yosemite County Park In Merced County, CA., I decided I ought to try and track it down and shoot it. Digitally that is! ABOUT THE PARK Lake Yosemite is a freshwater reservoir built in 1888 for irrigation purposes and…

The Undiscovered Country

2021 Merced County Species-to-Date (as of last checklist)Life List = 186Year List = 140 Whereas this title may bring to mind either Shakespeare’s Hamlet or Gene Roddenberry’s Start Trek VI, it is merely a reference to the Eastern Merced County grasslands that I had never ventured into before. I again scoured eBird for recent reports…

Birding Between the Storms

2021 Merced County Species-to-Date (as of last checklist)Life List = 183Year List = 122 Seeing a break between storms, I reached out to Rich Brown and Dale Swanberg to see if they wanted to explore the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation areas. I was hoping that something unusual would show up with the unsettled weather…