Day 182 - June in the Books

Thursday, June 30, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

That was fast. 

I felt like May moved along at a nice pace, and it was a long month. I was birding so much, and seeing so many new birds that it seemed to last forever. June--not so much. I birded plenty this month, but as the temperatures rose and summer kicked off, the # of species took a sharp decline. Where I added 85 year birds in May, I only added 6 in June--YIKES! I mentioned previously that this was expected. I had hoped to add 10 species on the month so I came up a few short. That would have left only a very short list of possibilities in July. June didn't bring any mega rarities. Some uncommon birds, and one that is occasionally detected here in Narnia. During my previous big year I added 3 rare birds in June--something that would have helped my year nicely in 2016.

How's this for juxtaposition: In my last big year I had by July 1st seen 25 species that I HAVE NOT SEEN THIS YEAR.

25.  Think about that.

Now, in 2016, as of July 1st, I have seen 25 species that I HAD NOT SEEN by July 1st during that year.


That's crazy to think about. The parallels between my last big year, and this one are amazing. I can't share too much because I don't want to give anything away at this point. There have been several birds that I saw on the exact same dates, in the exact same places--some not all that common--just luck. The number of rarities seems pretty close from each year as well. This big year thing is a something else.

Now that 25 number is interesting... In 2016 so far, I have seen 10 birds that I DID NOT SEE in my last big year. So 15 that I have seen I picked up in the final 6 months. An here is that crazy juxtaposition again--while I know anything can happen, there were 10 birds of those 25 I saw in my previous big year by July 1st, that I DON'T THINK I WILL SEE in 2016.

A dead wash. No advantage. What a strange thought.

My plan was that by now I should be far ahead of my previous pace, with an outlandish number of rarities exceeding my previous attempt. But its been less than stellar in terms of others finding great birds this year. There have been a few, but things are lacking.

Now, although technically we have hit the 1/2 way mark in terms of months, its still a few days till the true 1/2 way mark in terms of days. I'm at the literal turning point for the year. The downhill swing; the drive home; the last lap... Whatever you want to call it. I mentioned this last month, but I've crunched the numbers and I know likely where I'll end up come December 31st, and its going to be close. My thoughts wander to what unexpected rarities will pop up this fall during migration that will help buoy my list. At the same time, what expected things might I miss? There is certainly room for things to go very well--and conversely I might end up just short.

Looking forward to the coming 31 days there are exactly 9 birds on my get list for the month. That's the 9 most expected and regularly occurring birds. The remaining breeders. The first fall migrants possibly. And a couple residents that just keep evading my gaze. It's a short list, and will be some work. If I get all 9, I will be in a really good place come August. BUT, what I am really hoping for is some amazing mid-summer rarities. Narnia is no stranger to mid-summer megas. Late July has a rich history of them showing up here and there could be some "year changers". There are also still 3 species I've basically written off. I don't know if I'll get a chance to try for them again, and even if I do finding 2 of the 3 would make for big finds. If for some reason I can manage to get away for a day, I still might try for all 3.

In my world that means that in an ideal world I could end up at 319 by the end of July, or even pass the 320 mark given the right circumstances. If you've followed along with the poll you can pretty much knock the 300-325 pool out of contention since I should be in the 325 range at some point in August at this rate.

June is over. July is here. I put some 2,000 miles on pavement during the month, and traveled an additional 28 miles on foot. I spent just over 100 hours (4 entire days) looking for birds, and as you know added just 6 species to my year list. July might top those numbers--perhaps with less miles driven and more on foot though. July will be very similar to June though--over in a hurry. After that I hope August and September take their time, although I imagine they'll feel fast too.  I guess I'll relish the rest of the summer, and just keep birding like I have the past 6 months. It's been a blast.

New birds today: 0
Year List: 307


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