Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An intro and January challenge

Hey all-

Jesse Ellis here, one of your new additions this year. I'm a Madison birder. I love birding, but have been busy enough lately that driving a long way for birds has been impossible; yet, I love listing on some levels because it keeps me going out when I might otherwise do nothing "productive". Patch listing and BIGBY seemed the ideal way to go.

However, I'm not sure I'll be in Madison the entire year! So, to keep things interesting for myself, I set a challenge of seeing 50 species in January following BIGBY guidelines. This proved to be the January to do it, because with the open water and warm temps early this month, I've already hit 50 (51, to be precise). And that's with quite a few species still outstanding, like owls and a few more winter finches to be expected... So, is anyone up for a run to 60? We've still got a week.

Highlights so far have been: Mute Swans and Glaucous Gull on U Bay, a White-throated Sparrow at my feeders, lots of ducks, a MERLIN! over campus (my first for urban Madison, and one of my few for Wisconsin at all), and Carolina Wren in Shorewood Hills.

I'm looking forward to this environmentally friendly version of my favorite activity! See you all around!


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