I am heading home for a few days, but had time to stop at the backyard feeder of a nice woman I met on a beach looking for a Royal Tern. We didn't exchange names, just that we were both "chasers."
That was Monday.
Yesterday evening a received an e-mail from a birder named Catherine from Goulds. She couldn't sleep and while cruising the Internet found this blog. She sent me an e-mail with an offer of help if I were still around. Alas I was leaving today, but asked her if there might be somewhere I could snag a Purple Finch on my way to the airport. She replied this morning with pretty good info: her backyard feeder!
We drove there from Branch and the little purple guy was at the feeder the moment we arrived and returned a few minutes later for some photos.
That was number 53 for the trip.
And if you haven't guessed by now, Catherine was the woman I met on the beach. How cool was that? A Big Year is about a lot of things. Of course there is the chase. The list. Finding the birds. Surviving the travel. Being away from home. But, in the end, it is about the people you meet along the way. So, even though I didn't meet you in person, thanks Catherine. No one can really do a Big Year in isolation. Without the people I've met along the way and without Sue putting up with all this craziness, I'd have never seen even 300 species of birds, let alone 446, so far this year.
54 from 500. But I am not stopping there. I am a little too crazy and there are still too many birds to find and, I hope, lots of people to help me find them.
When I hit 300 I, rather jokingly talked about starting on the second 300. So, throwing caution to the winds of fate, and at the risk of driving everyone I know and love crazy, I will keep going until day 366 of 2012, and try to see my 600 birds. It might not be probable, but Impossible is not an option.