If I were to have attempted a full-blown ABA Big Year in 2012, I would be off to a strong start. My year would have begun in Anchorage and I’d remain there until I saw the Dusky Thrush. It was seen on Jan 1 and Jan 2 so by the third I’m flying south. I’d then travel east to tick the Chaffinch and would have added both a Barnacle Goose and a Pink-footed Goose…just to get them out of the way.
In 2011, I should have made more of an effort to tick the Fieldfare on the Gaspe Peninsula, I wouldn’t take the chance of missing a Chaffinch.
I would not have travelled to Newfoundland for the Yellow-legged Gull, which is being seen off and on at Quidi Vidi Lake. While in the East, I’d travel to Ohio and Tennessee for the Black-tailed Gull and the Hooded Crane, then headed to Texas for the Black-vented Oriole, which was regular till at least Jan 10. Crimson-collared Grosbeak, Golden-crowned Warbler, Brown Jay and Rose-throated Becard. I would have missed the Blue Bunting seen on ¼ & 1/5.
Next, I would have traveled west to Arizona to get the Rufous-capped warbler. By the way there are Black-chinned Sparrows all over Florida Canyon right now. They’ll be gone by March. Black-capped Gnatcatchers and Rufous-backed Robins seem to be regular at multiple locations so I tick them while at it. Then on to the Nutting’s Flycatcher along the Colorado River and then the Falcated Teal where I also add Eurasian Widgeon to my year-list. I also add the Ruff at Crittenden Marsh (Stevens Creek Nature Study Area), Santa Clara, California After this I settle home in Colorado for a day or two, but Florida (Fork-tailed Flycatcher and American Flamingo and possibly La Sagra’s Flycatcher), Arizona (Streak-backed Oriole), and Nebraska for the Common Crane have me sitting pretty by Feb 10.