Global Big Day 2021

May 12, 2021

Once again, I participated in the Global Big Day birding marathon. I like it because it gets me out and encourages me to challenge myself. (i.e. Get out in the field before 8 am. If I were a better birder I’d be out by 6 am, but I just enjoy that extra half hour of lying in a warm bed too much, it turns out. 8 am it is.)

This year’s results? Pretty good. I got a great lifer: a marsh wren.

42 species total. I can’t seem to break 50. I probably could have if I had made one more stop at a different set of ponds, but the weather was turning horrendous, with a big thunderstorm rolling in, and I just didn’t want to stay out in it to try to land six extra ducks.

Because that was the weird thing: there’s a whole list of duck species I reliably see at the locations where I went, and I saw NONE of them this year. This seems to happen a lot: I get close to 50, but then there’s a handful of common species I just sort of miss. And it’s a different handful every year. Like, one year I missed pigeons. Pigeons, dammit.

If you listed all the species I’ve seen on all my Big Days together, I’d be up to 70 or 80 I think. But no, the little beasties just don’t cooperate.

But that marsh wren was great. So was the colony of bank swallows I discovered when I went just a bit farther down this one trail, and the last bird of the day I logged: a warbling vireo.

And, best of all, it’s spring, and the migrating birds are returning, and this is a really good chance to get out and welcome them back.

4 Responses to “Global Big Day 2021”

  1. David Hack Says:

    My Big day went as follows. Walden Ponds at 7:30 to about noon.
    19 species identified. Outside the usual suspects, the highlights included….A Turkey Hen walking 10 feet away from me. A Loggerhead Shrike, perched at the top of a scrub tree like he was posing for a new field guide photo. And very vain Summer Tanager flitting back and forth between three trees spaced about 20 or so yards apart. And a Hairy Woodpecker to go along with my first ever Identified bird the Downy Woodpecker, from about five years ago.

    I feel like a birder now.

    Thanks Carrie!

  2. David Hack Says:

    Oh and congratulations on the Marsh Wren…looked it up that is a hard find or lucky.

  3. carriev Says:

    The marsh wren is at the Jim Hamm Nature Area over on County Line Rd and Hwy 66! You’ll hear him before you see him!

    I was at Walden Ponds in the afternoon! And I’ve not seen those species there myself? I really need to get out there earlier.

  4. David Hack Says:

    Birding trivia: Did you read that Marsh Wrens and Redwings are known to destroy each others nests?


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