Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Only 3 Days Left in My Big Year
It is Wednesday morning and I am still in Chapel Hill. Not only was the white-throated thrush not relocated, but Sunday morning was the last time anyone reported the black-vented oriole. The Monday post said over 30 birders searched until 5 PM but no one saw the oriole. There was no report at all about looking for or seeing the oriole on Tuesday. So I am still home, and at this point the chances of chasing another bird before the 31st look very slim.
The top photo above is of 7 beanie babies that my 20 year old daughter found in her long neglected collection. Each was gift wrapped for me for Christmas morning, and the 7 represent seeing 700 birds this year. The bottom photo is my 29 year old artist son's rendition of a slaty-backed gull that he made in honor of my 700th bird seen. If you check my list to the right side of the blog you will see that the gyrfalcon is listed as #700, but when my son checked the list the slaty-backed was recorded as the 700th bird seen. So an explanation is in order.
Since I entered the first 247 birds back in early February in the order that they appear in the ABA trip list, I continued throughout the year to follow that method for each new posting. I did the same initially when I entered gyrfalcon, slaty-backed gull and brown shrike on December 11. Also, remember that at that time I had not yet discovered that I had seen 3 more birds earlier in the year, so I thought these 3 were birds #696, #697 and #698 for the year. After I completed the review of my list they moved up 3 spots. Finally, even though I had been following the entry order as described all year long, I later decided that I would list these 3 birds in the exact order in which I saw them. As a result the order was changed because the gyrfalcon was the 700th species seen by me this year. I am hoping that my son will also make me a piece of art of a gyrfalcon.
We still have snow on the ground so our feeders have continued to host lots of birds. As a result, I found a female cooper's hawk sitting on my feeders yesterday which of course meant not another bird was in sight. I have seen 7 more birds for the week, and am planning to do some birding today since it is going to be so nice out--sunny and near 50. The travel map has been updated, and it might be the final one barring a last minute rarity. Stay tuned!