Day 60 - February in the Books

Monday, February 29, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

Being 100% honest with myself, I didn't take full advantage of the opportunities presented to me in February. I certainly could have went birding more, could have chased a few "uncommon" birds, and could have put more effort forth. This is a big year after all and every bird I can get is important. The big question is, did I waste February? With 29 days I certainly failed when it came to birding. I only went birding on 7 of those 29 days. That's a very poor metric. I had planned on birding at least 15 minutes every day this year, but after the first week of the month I realized February was not going to make that happen.

I shot out of the gate in January, following strategy, and ticking off the birds I needed. I missed a few important ones, but I would get them in February right? Then February hit and I slowed to a snails pace. Here it is 29 days later and I added just 5 new year birds in February. That should sting a little bit--and it does. Am I sitting at or near the top of Narnia's eBird Top 100 still? Have I fallen behind some competition (real or imagined)? Or is everything just fine and this is all part of the plan?

I can hold steadfast and say, this is MOSTLY all part of the plan. Looking back on these past 29 days I regret not putting forth more effort on 3-4 species. I am almost 100% positive I will get each of those in the next few weeks or in the last month of 2016. It actually wouldn't be all that bad to not pick them up till the end of the year. Having some "easier" year birds left between 11 and midnight on my big year certainly makes for a stronger finish than seeing everything quick and easy.

So here I am at 150 species behind me. 60 days gone. And in short order the bird heaviest portion of the year is just around the corner. March will see things pick up steam. Migrants making their way north will add to my total, and by April I hope to be sitting right around 175 species. You might be shaking your head at me right now, thinking that this is how I sounded a month ago. Well I did sound optimistic. And I did have a goal that I didn't meet. I like to think that this month will be different though. There is a big list of early arrivals that I should pick up, and a small list of residents I've been waiting to go get. February was a nice break though. I needed some time to clear my head, and focus on other things. And in the end I don't think it will hurt my year. February is a hard month as a birder in the U.S.A. You've likely cleaned up in January, leaving little to seek out in February. And the shiny new spring birds aren't quite here yet.

And if you hadn't come to the conclusion yet, no I didn't end up having a great Leap Day birding.  A  ZERO DAY on the books again.

February will undoubtedly be my most environmentally friendly month. I drove just 150 miles for birding this month--while walking 3 miles, and spending 10 hours birding. Light numbers to go along with the $11 I spent, keeping it easy on the pocketbook as well. March will see an immediate increase with several small day trips, and weekend outings planned to go along with any chases that might come up. I hope to hit north of 20 miles on foot again in March, and spend at least 62 hours birding (average of 2/day).  Lastly my gift for the month is the removal of 4 more states from the pool of possibilities (not that these should be any surprise to those playing along).

Narnia is not one of the following states:

South Dakota 
North Dakota 
New Hampshire

That leaves 40 states to choose from... Good luck!

New birds today: 0
Year List: 150


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