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BY7: Lust February 22, 2012

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Since I last wrote about my bird count, not much has happened. I’ve added only five species to my personal list in the last three weeks: Carolina wren, common merganser, common raven, purple finch, pileated woodpecker. That’s 28 for me. The overall list for the three of us is more than that, but Tim’s keeping that list, and I’m not yet paying much attention to it.

I am simply inside too much. And spring hasn’t sprung, so the migrators aren’t back. And I haven’t migrated anywhere either.

I worry that this year I won’t see those birds that briefly dip down to Vermont, and only in the coldest months: the common and hoary redpolls, the pine siskins. It never got cold enough long enough. There hasn’t been any snow.

I found a list of birds I saw in California last fall. If only I could count them! The recitation of this list gives me wanderlust: sandhill crane, American dipper, acorn woodpecker, ring-necked pheasant, California quail, yellow-headed blackbird, Brewer’s blackbird, sora, Virginia rail, pied-billed grebe, great blue heron, great egret, black-crowned night heron, western screech owl, barred owl, great horned owl, barn owl, Oregon junco (now known as the Oregon form of the dark-eyed junco), red-shafted flicker (now known as the red-shafted northern flicker), American kestrel, red-tailed hawk, Swainson’s hawk, glossy ibis, killdeer—and those are just the ones I wrote down. Sure, some of those birds hang out on the east coast. But not all of them.

Some colleagues want me to attend a snooty event in Denver in September.

The west beckons.


1. Helen - February 22, 2012

Is it a snooty ornithological event?

indigo bunting - February 22, 2012

It’s a snooty fly-fishing event.

2. Mali - February 22, 2012

I’d love you to be able to add tui, kokako, kakapo, kiwi (the flightless kind with wings), bellbird, piwakawaka, ruru, kea and weka, tieke and kotuku to name a few. Sigh. One day maybe. I mean, Denver’s on the way.

indigo bunting - February 29, 2012

Sigh indeed. (Of course, the big year is geographically limited, so I couldn’t count these for that. I would be back to enjoying them simply for themselves.)

3. Dona - February 28, 2012

Having read a great deal of The Big Year I can see why it made you want to have your own big year. I’m not there yet — and will probably never be, but I can understand.

indigo bunting - February 29, 2012

Well, given that we’re combining counts and not really traveling, I can hardly consider it a real big year. I really can’t imagine being able to do one. The idea of truly attempting such a thing (competitively) is staggering.

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