[Tweeters] End of A Big Month of January

B B birder4184 at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 30 18:26:20 PST 2018

As many of you know (and many of you have helped), anticipating that I would be traveling out of Washington a lot this year, I set a goal of a Big Month of January - seeing how many species I could see in the State during the month.  Running out of time, energy and weather, I brought the project to a close yesterday after failing to find Violet Green Swallows at the Green River Natural Wildlife Area.  
Previously my best, or at least my most prolific, January had been in 2015 when I tallied 154 species.  Initially I set out to find 175 species.  Lots of travel, birding everyday with lots of luck and lots of help, I passed that on January 15 and set sights on 200 species.  Again with lots of travel, work, luck and help I passed that mark on January 24th and with the appearance of some unexpected birds - yes like the White Wagtail - and with a good visit to the coast on the 28th after finally seeing the Steller's Eider in Seaside, Oregon earlier that morning, I ended my quest with 208 species seen.  
It was both exhausting and exhilarating - lots of fun - definitely some disappointments and misses - but many more successes - including some surprises.  Lots of great birds, great places and great people.
I have chronicled this crazy pursuit with 10 posts to my blog - blairbirding.wordpress.com - with a review of sorts posted today at wordpress.com/post/blairbirding.wordpress.com/20159.  Lots of pictures and lots of stories.
I thank the following great folks in my last post but want to do so again here - in addition to everyone who shares information and stories on Tweeters, Ebird and elsewhere.  So thank you Tweets and especially thank you to:
Ann Marie Wood, Blue JayBarry, Bob Boekelheide, Brian Pendleton, Bruce Labar, CarolRiddell, David Poortinga, Deb Essman, Frank Caruso, JohnPuschock, Jon Houghton, Mark Tamboulian, Max and Melissa Kingsbury, MelissaHafting, Mike and MerryLynn Denny, Stefan Schlick, Steve Pinkand Todd Sahl.  Apologies to the folksI have forgotten.  

This quest gave me a far greater respect and admiration for folks who do an ABA Big Year.  Hard to imagine the energy required to keep it going for even a second month let alone 12 months criss-crossing the continent.  Wow!!
As I write in my blog - as much as it was great to see some wonderful birds, it really was about visiting the amazing places in our fabulous state - being with great people - birders and non-birders - and gathering stories.  Lots of memories from a Great Big Month!!
Good birding to all
Blair Bernson

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