I really do not have world class aspirations about how this "Little Big Year" thing is going to turn out, but I certainly am looking forward to it. 8 countries, 12 airplane flights, 6 motor homes, 5 rental cars, and I don't even know how many VRBO's, motel rooms, rented boats, and friends houses we are staying in. Jeanne has done an incredible job putting all this together, with her attention to detail, and her excel spreadsheet that makes sure there are no gaps in one of the needed items, as mentioned above.
So with all that being handled, today begins the count, the search for how many bird species I can find in one year, I really do not have a goal, as I truly have no idea how all of this is all going to fall together. But, today was a great kick off, so to speak! The day started off at just before daylight, in the parking lot of Marina Palmira. Just as I was climbing into the truck, having loaded all my gear, the first bird of the day flew by....and it turned out to be one my all time favorites, the Peregrine Falcon! I took that to be a great omen (if you are into those sorts of things) which I really am not, but it couldn't hurt can it.
A quick trip out to the tidal flats, where we have a huge high tided, to be followed, later in the day, by and equally high tide. This moved all the shorebirds and waders right up close, in fact in my favorite spot, they were almost in the road! This made for a great count!
Then it was off to the La Paz Sewer Ponds. Again this is a birding favorite, but it was a bit low in birds as there is a group of homes not to far away, and at 9 AM in the morning they were still celebrating with the fireworks. The constant booming had the birds all a bit spooked, but it worked out, as I got every bird on my target list, except one.
Next was the fresh water reservoir, Presa Buena Mujer, or Good Woman Reservoir. This 50 acre body of fresh water in the middle of the desert can be one of the most incredible spots I have ever been, except for today. I was late getting there, and most of the birds were not moving around muck. I had to cover a lot more area than usual, but still did pretty darn good.
The it was back to the La Paz waterfront, from the center of town, and down around Marina Palmira's long breakwater. By now the tide was way out, and I had hoped that by walking out the breakwater, I would have access to some of the birds that are harder to track down from shore. It worked...and it didn't. I got a couple of my targets, but blanked on a couple to.
Well, the sun has set, and day one is in the books. Drum roll please for the announcement of the first days totals... 102 species in the first day!! I know that I will never keep that pace, but a huge number is on the board, and I am pretty darned excited. I will do my very best to keep this blog as up to date as possible, with a running total, and the what and where's of all this adventure, so please check back, and drop me a note sometime, just so I know somebody is watching all this!
Happy New Year to all of you!