With some (amazing) support and a little bit of luck, in a week I will begin my last big push across the country and back. From mid-September through to November 1, I will transect as much of the fall bird migration as I can, making a beeline across the middle of our country to maximize a few previously missed opportunities (e.g. the Rocky Mountains), then hopefully experience some of my first-ever Midwest shorebird migration, and then lastly wind my way up the East Coast: Cape May, then onto NYC and New England. I forewent (is that a legitimate word?) Spring migration in order to bird Belize and Costa Rica (tiny fiddles of sympathy, I know), and this hurt my year totals for the ABA Lower 48 from a Big Year standpoint. However, as I repeat over and over, I am doing a different sort of Big Year: one with fewer borders, one in which I am trying to learn about birds on a deeper level, one in which I am trying to make drawings as I go along. My goals have been pretty steady this year: I have seen 492 species in the lower 48 states, and 875 in the “world”; I would like to blow past 500 ABA for the year. I suppose this proves that I have not entirely succeeded in killing off my inner obsessive lister!
Image: Snowy Plover sketches