So, having had 24 hours to think about it and having received pretty solid support from the other half of this birding partnership (and the offer of friendly competition from an ace-birder friend in Calgary and signs of interest from a couple of more local friends) I am going public and committing to this interesting exercise. Next year will be the “Big Green Birding Year” (that name will have to change when inspiration strikes) around here.
Two categories, I think:
The Walking Big Year
During which I will list all species seen in 2008 which have been reached on foot from home. If I was traveling by any other means when seen then it won’t count… and, because there are a couple of likely birding sites that I’ll never get to by walking alone – well I could, but the journey would be awfully tedious – I shall also challenge myself to do :
The Self-Propelled Big Year
This will allow me to include birds reached by either walking, on bicycle or by canoe.
Should be interesting … if next year is like this one has been then 70-80 species can be guaranteed from the garden alone without stirring a muscle – scope here for a Big Year based around birds seen while holding a glass of something alcoholic perhaps? The shores of the St-Lawrence are less than ten minutes away at the bottom of the road and teem with ducks in season while the Arboretum can be walked to within 30 minutes. Plenty of suburban feeders to check out nearby and a few small parks. By adding cycle/canoe as an acceptable means of transport, a lot of other sites become accessible including a couple of nice places to see shorebirds in the late summer and fall.
For the record, this is not being done as any particular statement about carbon neutrality (though every little helps I guess) but for the fun of it and because I need an excuse to get out of the house at other times than weekends and try to keep fit (the need getting more urgent the older I become).
Now, I just need more rivals to keep me up to the mark? Anyone up to the challenge?