Date: May 23, 2010
Team: Dave Tripp, Fran Zygmont, Frank Gallo, Patrick Dugan, and myself.
Preparation: Scouting was limited again this year, but we were still able to improve upon our route from last year. Just a few weeks ago we nearly decided to scrap the whole thing, thinking it might be a waste of time. Also, we were pigeonholed into the date of May 23, which may be a couple days later than is optimal.
Summary: For a great summary of the day, including our highlights and misses, see Frank Gallo's summary.
Final Tally: 185 (just one short of the state record of 186 and six short of the New England record of 191 set in Massachusetts)...a great improvement over last year's total of 177.
Analysis: We were able to tweak last year's route with this year's scouting, which was surprising given the small amount of time we had to scout between the 5 of us. We devoted most of our free time to scouting the inland areas, which really paid off with a fine tally of inland species. However our lack of coastal intel really showed as we missed a few birds such as Red-breasted Merganser and required blind luck to run into a few more!
We're already looking ahead to next year, when our collective lives should be a bit more stable, hopefully allowing for more scouting time and date flexibility. There's no doubt our expectations will be raised. We will certainly be disappointed without the state record come May 2011.
Best bird: Long-eared Owl
Biggest miss: Red-breasted Merganser