Day 344 - The Christmas Cleanup

Friday, December 09, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

For a big year birder, December might seem like a barren wasteland. The year is almost over, the birds are mostly seen, and you're just biding your time till the clock strikes midnight. You hope that a small list of possibles will pop up, or that some mega rarity will be found and you can chase. And while this is generally how I feel, and I would imagine others feel as well, December that prankster--that cold, unforgiving, short days, long nights, dwindling species holding end cap of the year--well it still has a few tricks up its sleeve. And who would have ever thought the Audubon Christmas Bird Count was the biggest trick of all?

It's the shining light the last half of the final month. From December 14th till the end of the year the CBC will put hundreds of birders in Narnia in the field scouring small but species-rich areas for birds. And if the results of years past is a catalyst for what 2016 will bring, then the chances are I will pick up a bird or two on the heels of these CBC's with the "Christmas Cleanup". I don't even have to participate (I will though) to take advantage of the hard work that these volunteers will put in. In the past, the CBC's in Narnia have led to some incredible winter rarities. Megas if you will. They have also produced some of the more localized and hard to fins species that winter in Narnia. The potential for a good bird or a few makes the CBC season very important in wrapping up a big year.

At a national level there are hundreds of CBC's happening, and just like here in Narnia, some of those will produce birds that send the ABA Big Year Birders into a frenzied rush to track down the 1, 2, or 3 last birds they'll see in 2016. It's the ultimate Christmas gift for the big year birder. I know I have my eye on 5 species that could be huge finds and have big implications on how I end my year. I will likely be keen to hear from participants, and on eBird about what's found, and if any of my lingering targets emerge. I will also use my time wisely to chase those birds if the chance arrives. It's hard to imagine the year ending without adding any other new species, so I'll sit here with my fingers crossed, waiting--and hoping for a little luck to end 2016 with my CBC Cleanup...

New birds today: 0
Year List: 355


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