Friday, November 6, 2009


It's been a busy year. Work has been a challenge. Declan and Isla are the two most amazing, absolutely adorable kids on this planet. Despite having less gigs than most years, I've still been busy with dozens of musical events. I'm quite lucky to have one very active, yet extremely loyal and loving dog; Oiseau. And last, but most certainly not least, my beautiful, gorgeous and VERY busy wife Emery.Suffice it to say, it's been a jam-packed 2009 thus far. Yet, thanks to the winds, the weather, some luck, some study, some experience and MDOSPREY, I've made it to 300 birds seen in 2009. To prove to you just how amazing 2009 has been for avian variety in Maryland, back in 2008, I did not reach the big 300 until I saw a LARK SPARROW at Vessey's Orchard on December 6th. Go figure... I am a full month ahead of last year.Ok, I should divulge a little detail. Currently, there are three birders who have broken the single year record already... in early November!!!Stan Arnold, Jim Brighton and Jim Stasz are all around 335 or 336 for the year in Maryland. 336!!! That's just incredible.There are still several other birders in the high 320's, but the exact details I don't know at this time.In order to stay sane, I decided to concentrate on Anne Arundel County this year. And of course I would try and chase the occasional Life Bird too. Well, with this year being so rich with rarities, there has been more than a few trips outside of the county.I could say that responsibilities kept me from the reaching the 320's, but that would diminish the success of those at the top. They studied every corner of our state, they learned where to be and when to be there in order to get their target birds. They spent years perfecting their skills and acquiring knowledge.Breaking the Maryland Big Year record requires a combination of wisdom, research, skill and of course, luck.What's more, there is still lots of time to absolutely obliterate the old record... held by Jim Stasz (I believe). I wish them all the best of luck.My 300th bird for 2009??? You may have already guessed... three COMMON EIDER. These obliging winter sea-duck arrivals were observed at close range at the Ocean City Inlet.I would like to thank my wife, for her patience with me this year, and all of the years that we've known each other. My passions tend to occupy a large chunk of time, so for all of the occasions that they have swept me away from her (birding, music, painting, gardening, eating chocolate, etc), I can not thank her enough. I love you Emery.Good Birding,



Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Congrats! Wow, what beautiful pictures of the Eider. I've forgotten, what was year Big Year total last year - any chance of breaking it?


Nervous Birds said...

Hey Warren! Nope... no chance. Hmm, well, there is always a chance! ; )

I hit 311 last year. I am at 302 currently in MD. With my current enjoyment of Anne Arundel County, I don't see me exceeding that number in 2009.

Did you know that the BIG YEAR record in MD has already been smashed (by at least 3 people!)? The leaders are at 337 (I believe). That is hard to imagine. Jim Stasz, Jim Brighton and Stan Arnold are neck and neck. It's going to be an exciting finish.

I'm just surprised that no one on MDOSPREY is talking about it!

Get home soon and safe and we can do some birding or we can take our lovely sig others on a double date. Or both.


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