Before heading out, I thought it would be good to do another 2013 big year update. First, the numbers. Neil Hayward had a good first week of September at Gambell, and made it back to Arizona to see the sinaloa wren. Since he had nothing scheduled until 9/20 when he will hopefully be on a boat off the west coast, he has just returned to Gambell in hopes of finding more rare vagrants. As of today his full ABA area big year total is 710 which is still on the pace that John Vanderpoel was on back in 2011.
When Neil was at Gambell he saw Ron Furnish. Ron has not completed his travel report for that week at Gambell, but his tally for the year now stands at 665. As both Neil and Ron were leaving Gambell, Jay Lehman arrived from Arizona via Nevada where he picked up the himalayan snowcock. He also immediately had good fortune at Gambell picking up siberian accentor, yellow-browed warbler and stonechat (siberian race) which raised his big year total to 643.
So some of my readers may be curious as to how these 3 guys are doing relative to other recent big year efforts. Specifically, could Neil set a new full ABA area big year record, and can Jay and Ron reach 700 species before the year is out? In the case of Neil, since he has only about 10 more species that he should be able to see relatively easily, his chance to set a new big year record is dependent on how many code #3-5 birds show up over the next 109 days. For Jay and Ron, they both have lots of code #1 and #2 birds not yet on their big year lists that they could still find, so they both could make it to 700 different species by the end of December.