Going for it
As the dregs of December 2015 slip away, a young or old man’s fancy turns to year lists, it has been a good year, next year will be better. Dawn January 1st 2016 will see me out there starting my own personal big year, no make that a Big Year. I will be trying to see as many species on Cape Sable Island (and including The Cape) during 2016 as I can and that may mean I have to go birding every single day but I’m willing to suffer.
For those who want to join me in this epic quest there are a few rules that I will be applying.
1, All birds must be seen – no ‘heard only’, that is just how it is.
2, All birds must be seen from or on or over Cape Sable Island. You can stand on any shore and see any bird within identifiable range so, if a pelican of any colour flies over Sherose Island and you can see it from CSI, it’s yours.
3, No sightings that have suppressed can be counted. Suppression is a nasty habit that some birders have but, luckily, we have none here.
The core list of birds (further down) do not require a phone call, they will be seen in the normal course of birding. The tough warm list species need a phone call, the mega list birds need every effort by everyone to get everyone on them. The ‘given’, ‘tough’ and ‘mega’ lists will be on a tab at the top of the blog page for ready reference. I will highlight species as they get added to lists.
4, Anyone can join the fun or leave the race at any time, your choice.
While this started as a personal Big Year, and in many ways so it will remain, the opportunity to participate in the sparring has been embraced by: Johnny Nickerson and Mike MacDonald so far and so I will try to do monthly updates on progress. Johnny has to be the front runner, he knows CSI full stop, Mike and I are new but keen and will enjoy the learning curve.
I am happy to exclude birds seen on visits to The Cape on the grounds of accessibility, or I will include Cape birds for non-CSI residents to even up the playing fields a little, discuss.
Finally, I want us all to still be on speaking terms in January 2017, whoever sees the most species, agreed?
Now click on the tabs for the three categories of bird, make any comments you have and let the fun begin January-1st 2016. At the end of the year I’ll post the cumulative Big Year list plus a post about the winner.