Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bird A Day: Stick a Fork in Me, I'm Done

Green Heron, Whitesbog
Double Crested Cormorants, Central Park
After 251 consecutive days, I listed the ubiquitous Carolina Chickadee yesterday as my final species in the Bird A Day competition. That is about a month deeper into the year than I have survived in the previous attempts and without trips out west in the summer and possibly a trip to Florida in the winter, there is no way I'll ever get much farther. Had I been willing to chase a few birds in Salem County I might have extended the streak by 3 or 4 days, but there was no realistic possibility of getting enough birds to take me into the winter where I could have used sparrows and ducks I "saved" earlier in the year.

Of those 251 species the distribution is heavily weighted to NJ (not surprisingly) but to show the diversity of the county I live in, more than half the birds (140) came from Ocean County.

The counts are:
New Jersey: 231
Trinidad & Tobago: 12
New York: 4 (Doctor appts for me or Shari)
Delaware: 2
Pennsylvania: 1 (Trip to the Barnes Museum)
Florida: 1 (Stop-over on the way to T&T)

I'm going to finish 7th out of 98 participants. The winners usually live in Australia and Texas.
Solitary Sandpiper, Cloverdale Farm

Fortunately for my sanity, it did feel more like a game this year than the job it sometimes resembled in the past. Still, today was the first day I didn't spend any time wondering where I might find a "useful" bird and I didn't mind it at all. I doubt I'll do the competition in the future unless there is a lot of travel planned and I hate traveling.

I am pleased that I saw it through as far as I could go instead of getting sick of it & quitting prematurely as has happened in the past. There is a fine line between being Stubborn & Stupid and with Bird A Day I found myself teetering on the line. I think I fell over onto the Stubborn side; Shari might think differently.

The full list can been viewed here.

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