Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Texas Big Year Ends With 410 Species

I spent 2012 searching fields, forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and bird reports online to find as many birds as I could for my Texas Big Year. After travelling thousands of miles and experiencing dozens of weekend warrior adventures, I ended the year with 410 species. The last bird for my 2012 list was the Fork-tailed Flycatcher (lifer), a megararity that showed up near McKinney Falls State Park in Austin.

Sticking a fork in my Big Year

Ali and I joined dozens of birders to see it on Dec. 22. It was hanging out with a few Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in a field not too far from a taco stand (I love all the random places where rare birds show up).

This year has been special and I have countless memories with friends and family. There are many great stories to share. I thank everyone who helped me along the way and praise God for all the blessings and freedom to put a year like this in the books.

While I won't be doing another Big Year for 2013, I will be setting my sights on a larger goal to see 700 life birds in North America by the time I turn 50. I'll be turning 31 in a few weeks, so there's plenty of time. However, life gets busy and I know I won't be able to have too many years like I did in 2012. So it's best to set a realistic goal and readjust if I find I can surpass it before then.

For 2013, my birding resolution is to see 15 lifers.

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