|Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Oak Openings 1/24/2014|
Anyways, it's taken me this long to sit down and analyze my year. Although the biggest joys of my Big Year can not be quantified, numbers are nevertheless seemingly significant in such an endeavor. Here are a few that I thought were interesting enough to mention.
320: At the beginning of the year I was interviewed by Pat Eaken of The Press newspaper. I stated then that I would like to average a bird a day. Although I never mentioned an exact goal by picking a number, I guess I indirectly chose 365 as my end game. I fell short of 365 by 45 species, but 320 ain't too shabby.
13: I have been to quite a few places throughout the state of Ohio, but this year I got to visit a few more new locations. One Ohio highlight was the day we spent with Greg Miller down in Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties. Greg helped get us a couple of Barn Owls and a lone Blue Grosbeak.
8: At the beginning of the year I had recorded 209 different kinds of birds in my birding "career." Of that number, 8 evaded my 'nocs' this year. I missed a couple of warblers, the Northern Saw-whet Owl, and the beautiful Evening Grosbeak among a few others. Oh well...
4: My Big Year, in reality, wasn't a true Big Year. I have said before, this was a diet Big Year. People doing the real thing often times spend thousands of dollars, and travel across the country several times. Regardless of whether my Big Year was true to form, I still got to go to quite a few new places. I saw the Everglades, Whitefish Point, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. I took boat trips on Florida Bay and in Cleveland Harbor. I traveled to a relatively large number of places this year, but still managed to enjoy Spring migration in Northwest Ohio as much as ever.
|Baby in a headlight|
Coming down from the high of being able to do something you love for an entire year can be a little hard at times. I am working a lot lately, and am starting to actively look for full-time employment again. Because I'm having a difficult time of letting go of last year's obsession, Elissa has agreed to go birding with me once a month at Oak Openings. My favorite hobby at my favorite park with my favorite girl. You can't beat it. Because we had to reschedule a couple times already, we're going to squeeze in our January trip next Wednesday on the 29th. Perhaps we'll see you out on the trails! Happy birding.