Day 158 - Strange Things

Monday, June 06, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

Quick, get the paddles, we need to resuscitate! With May out of the way, so are most of the new birds I will see in 2016, and it can be days without a tick. Looking at the eBird Top 100 you start to see lists stagnating. Once the major push of migrants is over new birds are generally far and few between for at least a couple weeks. I look at the others I assume are doing big years with intrigue--what will they see next? What have they seen that I haven't? What have I seen that they haven't? It's a game and keeping watch produces some interesting results.

For one individual I noticed a new addition and immediately thought, "how the hell did they barely see one of those?". Which led to, "what else haven't they seen that's common yet???". On another I saw they had successfully chased down a rarity--this led to me chasing the same rarity that I wasn't even aware was still around. So thank you kind eBirder. When I notice someone hasn't added a new bird in 3,4, or 5 days its a good sign for me in that they've likely emptied the tap for right now. I know there are a handful of things I've gotten that could've waited--but I also know I have a handful of really awesome birds that at least some of the others don't have.

While I look at the competition it will be telling in the next 2 months to see where their lists go. It may become apparent that some are just doing there usual birding and had a big 1st half of the year. But their actions will speak largely to their strategy which in turn will tell me a lot about what I need to do.

Yesterday I had a strange thought while driving. How will others react when they find out I was doing a big year? How will the birders that were doing big years react specifically? What if someone sets a new record and is elated with the joy that they've had a great year--but in the end I happen to have a few more birds than them?

It's a strange thing.

At the end of the day its just birding and birds--it doesn't matter at all. But I have to put myself in their shoes. How would I feel in reverse.

Such a strange thing.

Of course I can always hope that I have a record setting big year, and the others fall short of the current record. This makes things easier. And of course there is always the possibility that no one is really doing a big year and I am thinking about scenarios that won't exist.

What a strange thing.

These hypotheticals really don't matter right now. The year is far from over, and in the end I could very well be the one who falls short--either of the current record, or someone else and their new record. It's hard not to focus on the end goal and constantly be thinking about everything that's going to have to fall in to place for it to happen. There are so many unknowns (rare birds) that need to happen at the right time and place for this thing to work itself out. The only thing for certain is it has been one hell of a fun time birding in 2016. With June now disappearing one day at a time my focus is sticking to the strategy and getting the birds I absolutely have to before the summer is over.

New birds today: 0
Year List: 301


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I'm on a mission to see as many birds as I can in 2016... within the borders of my home state. The only catch is I'm not telling anyone that I'm doing a Big Year...