For the past few years I've done a May BIG DAY in Connecticut with various folks. It has always been a blast no matter what our total. Here's a quick summary:
25 May 2006 - 157 species (with Danny Williams)
20 May 2007 - 173 species (with Danny Williams, EJ Raynor, Elliott Ashe)
26 May 2008 - 169 species (with Frank Gallo, Roy Harvey, Jerry Connolly, Randy Domina)
None of these days were "world series"-like efforts. Scouting was minimal. This year Frank Gallo, Patrick Dugan, Dave Tripp, and Fran Zygmont were kind enough to invite me to join them for a run at the record. What is the CT record you ask? 186, set on May 20, 1994 by E.Hagen, B.Devine, B.Root, M.Szantyr, C.Wood, G.Hanisek.
This year's effort will be greater than any I have been a part of. Tripp and Zygmont know the northwest corner like the back of their hands, which is key for picking up scarce breeding species. Frank, Patrick, and I will add our knowledge of the coastline.
We will have one big drawback however: scouting. Only one of us will have enough free time to do a significant amount of birding in the two weeks before the day. We're going to rely heavily on reports to CTBirds to nail down those hard-to-get species.
Our day will be over Memorial Day weekend, depending on weather and other variables. Maybe a touch late...I would prefer, say, May 22nd or so. But that's all we can do with our schedules. Wish us luck.