|Ruff. 3rd county record. Forest Grove, Oregon. October 13, 2007.|
|Emperor Goose. 1st county record at a local city park, |
Hillsboro, Oregon October 29, 2008.
Counties in the western United States are huge compared to those in the East--some are bigger than Eastern states! But my local Washington County west of Portland Oregon is rather small, 20 miles north and south, 40 miles east and west, if that. Any rare bird is likely to be at most 20 miles from my home. Even so, I don't often drop everything to go see a bird. Yesterday I chased (went to find a previously reported bird) a Mountain Chickadee only 3 miles from my home. It had been coming to a feeder for a week. That's #252 for my Washington County life list and number #193 for the year!
|Hooded Oriole. 2nd county record found on local|
Christmas Bird Count. Gaston, Oregon, 26 December 2009.
A county lister, especially one that concentrates on only a couple of counties--or just one, becomes a local expert. I've been able to share the expertise I've gained by writing birding site guides and annotated county checklists.
|Black Phoebe. 5th county record. Forest Grove, Oregon.|
July 20, 2012.
But the fun of county birding is that the next new bird I see for the county this year--whether I find it first or someone else does--could be one never before recorded in the county! That's fun!