What Does Conservation Have to Do With Lynn Barber?

As many of you know, one of the objectives of my Big Year is to raise money for Citizens for Conservation.  In fact, I recently was surprised to learn that one of my tour mates on Gambell has generously donated to CFC and it’s greatly appreciated.  Yesterday Rick called from Barrington, Il to remind me of his pledge, which is one dollar per species that he’ll double if I can hit 725 species!  But it gets even better, Rick’s company will match any charitable donation towards conservation.  So the stakes have just ratcheted up a notch.  I’m refocusing on topping Lynn Barber’s 2008 big-year total of 723.  Now Chris Hitt has reminded me that there have been two species splits since Lynn finished her big year so I should really hit 726 to say I beat Lynn.  I’m not sure if I buy that or not, but I’m certainly motivated to hit 725.  I realize that it won’t be easy.  At this stage of the quest ,not a single bird will come easy (alright – Eurasian Tree Sparrow will be easy).  Alaska is still the great unknown. I have a target in mind for the end of the Alaskan trip, but I’ll keep that to myself because it’s irrelevant.  What’s more relevant is how hard we work to turn up Asian strays and what direction the wind will be blowing on St. Paul.  West winds are forecasted for Sunday and southwest winds for Monday and that’s just what we need to blow in a Marsh Sandpiper, Dusky Thrush, Common Rosefinch or some other goodie from the Russian Far East. My goodness, my heart races just thinking about it.

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7 Responses to What Does Conservation Have to Do With Lynn Barber?

  1. David White says:

    Since your back to counting, some, the best I could come up with is that at 714, your tied at 7th place in the “700 Club”. At 716(pretty certain at least) you would be alone at 5th with Sandy holding 1st and 4th. I would contemplate that with 3 months+ still to go, as focused as you are, 2nd is possible. May the winds be with you and CFC.

  2. John says:

    Sorry for being nitpicky, but I think Sandy is at 1st and 3rd, with Lynn at 4th. I think Sandy had 725 or 726 and Lynn and 723. But I could be wrong.

  3. Deanna Campbell says:

    Glad you are back online! Wishing you lots more bad weather in the Pribs! And good luck with your Skylark on the way home! Keep plugging! Cheers, Deanna

  4. John Vanderpoel says:

    David & John,

    This is courtesy of Chris “The Hitman” Hitt who has become rather a student of Big Years:
    _ Sandy Komito 1998 745 Full ABA Record
    12 Bob Ake 2010 731 * pending acceptance of Blyth’s Reed Warbler
    11 Lynn Barber 2008 723
    2 Sandy Komito 1987 721
    6 Greg Miller 1998 715
    9 Dan Sanders 2005 715
    4 Bill Rydell 1992 714
    15 John Vanderpoel 2011 714 As of 9/24
    5 B Shiflet 1993 712
    3 Steve Perry 1987 711
    7 Al Levantin 1998 711
    1 Benton Basham 1983 710
    8 Curtis Jordan 2002 707
    13 John Spahr 2010 704
    14 Chris Hitt 2010 704 Lower 48 states record
    10 John O’neill 2007 701

  5. John says:

    OK, my bad. Online sources are saying 721, too. Don’t know how I got 725 in my head.

  6. John says:

    OK, here’s why I was thinking 725 or 726. A source tells me the following: “his official number was 721, but he told ********* that he added 5 more I guess 1st N.American records after the fact. He also claims that in ’98 he added 3 more after the fact.”

  7. Morgan Churchill says:

    Something else to consider is that there has been buzz that ABA might be adding a few more exotics this year to the list, with votes expected (I think?) on Purple Swamphen, Rosy-faced Lovebird, and Black-hooded Parakeet. So possibly these could also help you out.

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