Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Big Year!

Liam and I were too excited to sleep and wait until morning to start so we walked into Bentsen at 11:58. We hoped maybe we would here a hoot or such. At midnight we heard machine gun fire and were back in the casita at 12:08. So much for that idea but what an exciting way to start!

2 hrs 15min and Counting

It is 2145 on Dec 31 and Liam and I are sitting in a casita 500ft from Bentsen chomping at the bit. Music is blasting through the RV park as the winter Texans' drink wine coolers and party like gypsies.
Liam is starting his "Big Year" journal and bouncing around asking a million questions. It's great to see him so excited!
We are going to take a walk at midnight and see if we hear anything because we can't stand to wait 'til dawn. This is a pic of the brand new sixth edition "National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America" waiting to go into battle. I want to lick it. Too heavy though so I'm gonna likely rip out a bunch of pages. It's gonna be used as the main workhorse "field" guide not a car or coffee table guide so it must be done.

We are here!

Liam in front of our casita at Bentsen Palm Village RV resort right at the doorstep of Bentsen Rio Grande Park! The resort managers are so nice and the casita is super sweet! If you come down here these casitas are the best!
Only 8hrs til our Big Year starts!

On the way!

Liam and I are on the plane waiting to take off for McAllen! We are very excited! And drunk! Just kidding!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Liam is my 10 year old son and he wants to do a big year. We have airline miles and this seems a perfect way to use them! I like to count birds. I like to go places. I like spending time with my son. All of these are on the "pros" list
We have no scope. We have no camera. We have no $. We can't reach the record. All on the "cons" list.
The "cons" seemed to outweigh the "pros" at first when considering a "Big Year", a record chasing competition. But then I realized a "Big Year" can be so much more than that. It can be an epic adventure challenging our frugal creativity and bird chasing resourcefulness. It can be an adventure of self discovery and father/son bonding. It can be a memory to last a lifetime! Join us on or journey and see what we can accomplish with guts and determination. With a bit of luck, key trips and maybe some rides from fellow birders from the airport to a rarity and back we just may post a respectable number. No matter what we will have an epic time!