Reflections on Feb. 11, 2012

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.

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2 Responses to Reflections on Feb. 11, 2012

  1. Robb Welch says:

    You can always get the yellow footed gull at Salton Sea. I loved following your blog last year. And despite the final number not being what we all hoped for, I hope you are truly feeling the sense of achievement that is rightfully yours and only ours to dream of. But I’ve had a question I’ve been dying to ask for months. Komito’s record was supposed to be untouchable because of the El Nino year. I don’t remember last year begin anything like that. Was there some other factor (I’m thinking strategy, logistics, technology?) that allowed you to get within a hair of that rarified record?

  2. Wes Hatch says:

    The question is would you go on a pelagic now for the Great Skua or wait till the end of the year again? There have been 2 to 4 reported on the most recent trip.

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