Day 154 - May in the Books... What. A. Month.

Thursday, June 02, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

What a month. There is no way to really put this May into perspective other than to say, "wow". I had high expectations for May back when I was planning this year out--I knew it would be the month that gave me the greatest number of birds in a month--and the second most year birds in a month. Both of those things happened. I ended up seeing 85 new year birds during May. A major haul of year birds, second only to January.

By the end of the month I spent just over 181 hours birding, and traveled almost 59 miles by foot.  I guessed I would top 150 hours and 60 miles on foot at the end of April--so pretty close on both. 181 hours may not seem like all that many but that's essentially 7 and 1/2 days.  That's over a week straight.  Or if we average it out thats almost 6 hours every day in May.  It paid off though.  I will not have another month like May for the rest of the year.

I don't even want to say how many miles I traveled in car, so I won't--it wasn't green by any means. May set the tone for the coming 7 months. Things slow dramatically now. The tail end of spring migration will trail off here in the next couple weeks--then a short summer ensues before the fall migrants start to return. I have a very short list of breeding birds to pick up in the next 61 days. I suspect I will have the majority tucked away before June is over, leaving just 1 breeder to track down in July.  Truthfully the list of breeding possibilities is limited to about 18 species that I don't have yet. Looking through my list there are essentially 25 possible birds with the first southbound migrants before August.  That is slim pickings.

I have goals for every month the remainder of the year--I need X amount of birds by July 1, and X by August 1 and so on and so forth. Hitting the number of new years birds I need, combined with a yearly total at the end of each month has me on a path to put within 10 birds of the current Narnia Big Year record--and that's 10 birds less or more depending on how well things pan out. Yes, crunching the numbers there is the definite possibility I will come up short--HOWEVER--I don't take into account the big rarities that will inevitably show up.  I've combed over my list and know that X number of year birds are almost guaranteed, and X number are likely.  That leaves me in the +/- 10 gap.  Factor in the rarities I don't count on and there is a chance I might reach  new record.

June and July will be spent mostly conserving my time, money, and mileage with hopes that come fall I will be able to use the same formula I've used this spring to chase and add birds to my year list.  I'll definitely work on those 18 birds, but I'm already dreaming about the southbound migration just around the corner.

For now I'll relish in the fact that May was spectacular... What. A. Month...

New birds today: 0
Year List: 301


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