I’ve had a lot of time these past 2 weeks to reflect on my Big Year. I want to devote this post to answering some of the top questions that I get asked regularly.
1. How come the Stoll brothers are still ahead of you? I have spent this entire year focused on my own goals and trying very hard not to make it solely about competition. All 3 of us have put forth a monumental effort. As of this week, I was tied at 747 with Victor and Ruben, in the original ABA Region. Including Hawaii,they are ahead at 803 versus 784 for me. I have only been to the Big Island so far. November first, I will go back again for 2 weeks.
2. What birds do you have left to see? In the continental U.S. and Canada, I only need the following:
-Yellow Rail-I will be in Louisiana 10/26.
-Common Ringed Plover-probably a miss by now.
-Smith’s Longspur-Oklahoma in Dec.
-McKay’s Bunting-Nome in December.
All other possibilities would be rarities.
3. What was your favorite bird? Ironically, my 3 favorite birds were all Gulls. To say that I didn’t “love” Gulls prior to 2017 would be an understatement. Another Big Year surprise!
4. How much did it cost? A lot. I will save this number for my talks next year. I’m within budget, though.
5. How many miles have you traveled? Over 90,000 air miles and more than 25,000 miles by car. Have not calculated miles walked yet.
6. How long did it take for you to plan your year? It took me about a year to decide, but the only things I planned were a trip to California in January and a trip to Attu in May. The rest developed organically.
As always, thank you for following my journey.