I finally made it to 200 birds today! After taking care of some errands this morning, I took a trip out to Steel Canyon in NW Cache County, almost to Idaho. Several good birds have been seen in this area lately; several that I needed. I picked up the first must-have, a Grasshopper Sparrow, singing along the gravel road to the canyon - number 199. But then the road got too muddy to drive and I had to turn around before I reached the canyon. I was afraid I might be stuck just shy of 200 for yet another day. But on the drive out, I spotted a flycatcher near a creek I had passed on the way in. I had hoped that some flashy rare bird would fill the 200 spot, but instead it was a plain bird I had seen many times before: this flycatcher was my first Western Wood-Pewee of the year. (Photo above.) On the drive home I managed to pick up yet another new bird just for good measure: number 201, an Eastern Kingbird, shown below.
What next? Well, I'm not stopping here. I've met my goal but now I've set a new one. The record number of bird species seen in a year by any one person in Cache County is 235, held by both Keith Archibald and Ron Ryel. I'm now going to go for that record, and I think I'm off to a good start. From what I've heard from my more experienced Cache County birding friends, only one person has ever reached 200 earlier in the year than I did: Ron Ryel reached 200 by "about" May 24th a few years ago.