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.
Total Species for the Year
744 Birds (743 + 1 provisional)
920 Birds, Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians
(Quest for a Thousand)
TagBarrow's Goldeneye Bean Goose Butterbredt Spring Costa Rica Dry Tortugas Ivory Gull Long-eared Owl Lower Rio Grande Valley Lower Rio Grand Valley N. Pygmy-Owl Newfoundland Northern Goshawk Red-cockaded Woodpecker Rock Dove Tours Scott Vanderpoel Texas Thayer's Gull W.G.Jones State Orest White-collared Seedeater