Thursday, October 1, 2015

Big Year 3/4 Pole Update

It is October 1st so I am doing a short post on this year's big year efforts as the birders turn onto the home stretch of their birding adventure.  As I have said in earlier posts, I do not know anyone that is definitely doing a full ABA area big year in 2015.  However, in checking the ebird top 100, it seems that Mike and Wendy Schackwitz (663 different species year to date), and Brandon Reo (653) are doing big years based on their high totals and constant birding activity.  In the lower 48 category, Dan Gesualdo (636), a birder from Ohio that I know who I have mentioned in an earlier post, is also still doing a big year.

I do know of one world big year that is being done by Noah Strycker.  I have mentioned him earlier this year saying that you can follow his efforts on his blog which can be found on the Audubon site.  On September 16th Noah passed the old record (4341) set back in 2008 by Alan Davies and Ruth Miller.  With his goal of seeing at least 5000 bird species in 2015, he is continuing to bird in Asia, and then will finish up in Australia and New Zealand.  As of 9/30 his world total for 2015 is at 4565 species with the most recent ebird post being Pallas's fish-eagle.  I have never seen a fish-eagle, but the photo above is of a Verreaux's eagle-owl that I took when I birded in East Africa in 2012 (the entire trip was recorded in earlier posts back in 2012).  He should have no trouble passing 5000 birds for the year.

I was also sent a photo taken by Cory Gregory (click on any photo to enlarge), one of our guides on the Pribs, of all of us except Neil Hayward taken in the upper cut of the quarry on the day that the Pallas's rosefinch was first found.  As I wrote in my last post, it is a great day for any birder when they get to participate in recording the first ever sighting of a bird in the ABA area.

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