[Tweeters] Personal Mission Accomplished: 200 X 39 - With Thanks to Many...

Tom Mansfield birds at t-mansfield.com
Sun Sep 28 07:28:42 PDT 2014


Hey Tweets and Inlanders - Yesterday (9/27/14) was a very special day for me in that my quest to be the first person to see 200 species of birds in every one of Washington's 39 counties reached its successful conclusion on White's Island in the Columbia, upriver from Cathlamet in Wahkiakum County. Horned Lark, of the rare streaked subspecies, was the bird capping my 6-year mission that covered over 180,000 miles of driving, hundreds of hours of research/planning, and the pleasure of emailing, meeting and birding with many of you all over Washington. And while not proud of my carbon footprint, I can say with certainty I made a six-figure contribution to the state's economy - much of it in small, out of the way places.

Your posts to Tweeters, Inland Northwest, BirdYak, BirdKitt, WhatcomBirds, LCBirds, Admiralty Audubon, San Juan Audubon Facebook, and eBird have all contributed so significantly to the success of this personal mission. And while I wished that I could have chartered a larger boat yesterday so that more could have been along for the final push (space was so limited the leader, Wahkiakum expert/naturalist Andrew Emlen, came by kayak - his preferred mode anyway), I was honored to be joined by Andy and Ellen Stepniewski (luckily for me, the first birders I ever met when I started birding in 2006), Mike and MerryLynn Denny (incredibly skilled and knowledgeable about birds and our natural surroundings ), and MaryFrances Mathis and Matt Bartels (my first "regular" birding buddies who got me started at Marymoor, helped me get a list going, made countless trips/chases with me, taught me so much). My true mentor and the Godfather of Washington County Listing, Ken Knittle, was unable to make the assault on White's, a dredge spoils island with no dock or improvements, but he was waiting for us when we landed back at the Cathlamet Marina and after a celebratory picnic, joined us birding the remainder of the beautiful day in Wahkiakum.

To all who so willing shared their tips, experience, and knowledge - many, many thanks. The Washington County Listing gauntlet has been thrown down! There are some outstanding young birders (and many not so young) who can take the threshold higher than 200 in every county. I hope you do - because we will all learn more about the birds of Washington from your efforts along the way. Just beware: The listing bug's bite can change your life forever!

Tom Mansfield headed home to Seattle - but still county listing on the way...




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