Big Day - 186 species

Yesterday's big day recorded 186 species, which would have made us very happy to tie the old  record if this were two years ago. But after our 192 total in 2011, this number leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Expectations have increased. Regression becomes more likely as your number increases, as it did each year from 2009-11. So you could say we were due to take a step back. But I know that we have not yet maxed out what is doable on a Big Day in Connecticut. In my eyes, 186 is no better than just pretty good. We have been doing this for a few years now, and although the populations of many bird species are declining, the annual improvement of our route combined with the abundance of info sharing has resulted in a higher number of possible species. I expect 180+ every year now. Our goal of reaching 200 species someday is attainable with the right combination of scouting, planning, and luck. It just didn't happen yesterday.

- Nick


  1. How interesting. A post about birds, on a blog devoted to birding, without mention of a single bird. Just the number. That's a little sad. I know that every birder approaches birding from a unique perspective, but I always feel a little sorry for those whose primary focus is lists and numbers. I read your blog regularly, and I know that your focus is not *exclusively* about lists, ticks, dips, and numbers. But really, what a delight it would be to open a post here and read about how, say, the beauty of a single bird, or the beauty of its song, stopped you in your tracks and made you forget which number it would be on your list.

  2. Like most people, I generally consider critical comments by an anonymous poster as unworthy of response because they're so cowardly, but I'll take a second to defend myself here.

    I find it rather sad that you spend your time reading internet material that you do not enjoy, then feel the need to criticize someone who takes the time and effort to publicly share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. You must feel very brave hiding behind your computer.

    If you did actually read this blog regularly as you claim, you would realize that a minute percentage of it has anything to do with listing. Go ahead and look back - it's all archived. My friends and I set aside a few days per year to pursue a fun and competitive goal that we set for ourselves, with no harm done to you. It is very exciting for us, and I enjoy writing about it each year. I do not expect everyone to relate to doing a big day, but the need to spew your negativity with such a self-righteous comment is completely unwarranted. And even if my blog was entirely devoted to the *very* few lists I keep, so what? Just stop reading and let people do what they enjoy doing.

    Please, if you insist on reading my blog (and I don't know why you would since you find the content so poor), try to keep your antagonistic thoughts to yourself. Like all hobbies, this is meant to be fun. This blog is maintained because I enjoy talking about a passion of mine. I don't deserve a comment like that.

  3. Good morning,

    Thank you for your response; I appreciate learning more about your perspective. I apologize for having offended you; that was not my intent. I never implied that I do not enjoy your blog, as detailed below; rather, I responded to the content of one post which made me wonder about various ways of birding. My comment was more of a "hmm...?" not a "harrumph!" if that makes sense. I should have made my comment more general, not specific to you, or perhaps written about it on my own platform, not yours. I'm sorry about that.

    The fact that you host a comment section, though, and the fact that you allow anonymous commenting, seems to imply that once in a while you might expect an anonymous comment. People have various reasons for remaining anonymous in online communications; cowardice is not among my reasons. Your assumption of my motivation is as much in error as my assumption about yours. :-)

    I'm a regular reader here because I enjoy learning about birds in CT, and you offer a wide range of information and experiences and photos, and you write with clarity. Your expertise with gulls is impressive, and I study your photos and narrative in an effort to improve my own ID skills. Your insights on the effect of weather on bird movements has been of particular interest, and as one who can't afford to travel too far from my own patch, I've received vicarious enjoyment from your travelogues.

    Again, I offer my apology for having offended you; that was not my intent.

    Good birding

  4. Illegitimi non carborundum.

    Beacon Falls, CT

  5. Every birder I know enjoys the beauty of birds, but has at least one list, too. I have two a lower 48 life list and a back yard list. Two days ago I enjoyed a scarlet tanager singing in plain view 30 feet away at eye level for a good 5 minutes. But I wouldn't blog about that and I wouldn't really want to read someone else's blog post about something like that either. To me, it's too presumtuous and self-indulgent on the part of the blogger. I like the blog the way it is. Keep up the good work.

  6. I obviously can't please everyone, but that's not my intent anyway. I just write about what I enjoy.


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