Sunday, December 23, 2012

Announcing a New Obsession

It isn't enough that I list all my bird sightings on eBird and keep track of various databases there: Life list, Year List, Country List, State Life List, State Year List, County Life List, County Year List (by the way, I'm #1 in Ocean County this year with 182 species and 1 week to go).

It isn't enough that I joined Project FeederWatch, keeping track 2 days a week of all the birds that visit our feeders.

And it isn't enough that I keep a master list of my life list and Shari's life list with cross references and queries in Access.

No, I have to add another layer of compulsion. Starting January 1st I'll be participating in Bird A Day an online contest to see how far into the year I can get adding a different bird I see each day. The rules are simple: every day add a bird onto the site that you saw that day and haven't listed previously. This obviously means I have to go birding in some capacity every day. The obvious strategy is to list birds in descending order of difficulty, so that if I were to see a Common Redpoll and House Sparrow on New Year's Day, I'd list the redpoll and keep the sparrow "in my pocket," since I'm certain I'll see that one on another day and might have to use it if I've run out of unique entries.

Looking at the site I see that some birders have 357 listings for the year, meaning they're current up to  today, which is pretty amazing. I'll be impressed if I can make it through June.

I've added a Bird A Day tracker to the side bar, right under my profile picture. Right now there's just test copy there, though I really did see 6 Common Mergansers at Assunpink today and they were certainly the "rarest" birds of the day.

Also, at the request of my most faithful reader, I'm going to add some counts to the side bar, probably Life, Year, and County counts, starting January 1. Yes, one more task to distract me and make sure I don't do anything useful.


  1. Larry,

    Good luck with this! You should do well birding both NJ and NY and keeping those easy ones in the bag for those less than birdable days. There will be a few.

    Hope all is well and please say hello to Shari for me!

  2. That is an absolutely super online contest for you to play... and thanks for the sidebar, that will be fun! I imagine you will get an entire year's worth, and add MA to your list of places to look. Now, just save me from any similar online ride-a-day contests.

    Imagine my surprise and pleasure to see you are adding counts! What a good idea!