Today marks the two month mark since the finish of my Junior Big Year.
Am I still birding? Oh yes! I am all-so actively birding still, and I currently have a 2012 year list of about 122 species. While that may sound high, they're basically just the regulars (other than one or two oditys) that are in Virginia at this time of year. I am about 40 birds behind what I was at last year at this time. Once the summer gets here and I don't do nearly as much traveling as last year, that number will slip to 100-200 behind last year. Other than for a trip to Montana this coming summer, this is basically a "normal birding year". This past weekend I went out east to Maryland and Delaware in hopes of finding 3 rare birds: Pink-footed Goose, Razorbill, and Virginia's Warbler. Of those 3 we only found the Razorbill, which was a life bird for me. However, instead we ended up in Chincoteague Virginia and I found a White-winged Dove, a rare visitor to Virginia and spent time adding about 20 new 2012 year birds, watching the Tundra Swans, and seeing the Chincoteague Ponies. Had I been doing a Junior Big Year, we would have stayed longer at the goose and warbler, perhaps spent more money on another hotel night, and would have missed the magic of Chincoteague.
As thrilling and amazing as the Junior Big Year was, it's a little bit nice to now have a more mellow birding and wildlife watching life, again :)
ps. be sure to check out my new blog, which I'm more-or-less keeping up to date: www.wildwithgabriel.blogspot.com