Monday, 3 February 2014

Trust Me! I am not doing a Big Year

Would someone please tell my wife that just because I am still going out birding at 5:30am as I did last year and happen to have recorded over 50 bird species in the first month of the year that I am not doing a Big Year?  Or even though I know someone who is trying to break my record of 82 birds photographed in a year, and the fact that a friend is doing a Big Year with the main goal of adding more birds to the Barbados checklist than the 2 which I did last year, that I am not doing a Big Year.  Never mind the fact that the record of 117 birds in a year still stands unbroken, please help me to convince her that I am NOT doing a Big Year.

The truth is that I love birding and the outdoors so much I try to get out whenever I can.  Last year was different; even though I enjoyed it immensely it was more about getting the photograph than enjoying the experience.  So I would have seen a new bird and moved on to the next, hardly looking back.  This year I am looking back.  For example, for this month we had Ducks at Chancery Lane Swamp, Northern Pintails, Blue-winged Teals and American Wigeons. Last year I would have visited that location with the main aim of getting usable photographs for the challenge, this month I have visited these duck on more than five occasions.  I have also been paying more attention to photographing our common birds.  So if at the end of the year my checklist says 120 species, trust me it will not be because I was doing a Big Year, I just took the time to smell the roses.