Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Extended cut

2012 is over. The way the year shook out leaves us frustrated and embarrassed by our number.  It was more of a big 4 months.  We were blowing it up the first part of the year on a good pace and then the shit hit the fan.  Well, flooded the basement actually. We watched all our "big year" money go down the drain literally. Not only that, also our dog required a $2000 surgery and how could we say no to a face like this. We also ran into unexpected resistance from Liam's school in regards to time off for birding.  Admittedly, none of these things would have been a problem in a better planned and prepared for "big year".  Money is the key really.

Outside of all this negative is probably the greatest positive I have ever experienced in my life.  Traveling and birding in this capacity as father and son is priceless beyond words.

We had planned on one last gasp trip to California by way of Colorado after Christmas but the flights were full and the rental car prices were ridiculous over $100 a day so we couldn't make it happen.  So although the game is over OUR big year is not.  We are going to still venture to California and Colorado to finish our adventure.

We did go hunt down some Lapland Longspurs on the very last day of the year which was fun.  Pretty neat to get a new bird on the last day in your own hometown.

We have every intention of a well planned "Big Year" in the future.  We will spend the next few years planning and preparing.  And then when Liam is older and a birding wizard we will make a very serious attempt at breaking the record.  With global warming, species splits, trips to Attu again and instant reports of rare birds on NARBA, I think it is just a matter of time before someone with intent and finance shatters the current record of 748 held by Sandy Komito.  Yes most say his record is 745 but by his own words he claims 748 and if you want an undisputed record you are going to have to get 749 in my opinion.

So now we are going over the master list and checking it twice.  I am sure I have made a mistake here and there in my posts but weather the number is 398 or 404 is irrelevant at this point.  We have learned a ton and had a blast and will post our trips to California and Colorado as they happen this winter.

Thanks so much to all of you have supported us!

This just in.  Our final number is 404.


  1. Y'all did great for what you had going on this last year! A couple years of serious planning for birds/places/timing and some $ saving will be invaluable for another assault on 749!

  2. Thanks Shoe! I agree. You will be part of that equation for sure!

  3. So how did your trip to California go? Come on, I've been checking frequently for updates!
    It ain't over til it's over, right?

    And an undisputed record may mean more than 750, as the ABA has likely split a few species since Komito's record year, with Komito possibly having seen all former subspecies now turned species.

  4. Im sorry Jochen!! I replied to this a long time ago! I don't know why it didn't post.... We still haven't gone!! AND we really still will. I promise to update as soon as we do. You are right about the splits and record too. I agree.