For the last three years I’ve been planning a Maine Big Year . . . this has included retiring (last November), getting both knees replaced (2018) and learning as much about the birds of Maine as possible (a work in progress).
This morning (January 1, 2021) I woke up at 4:00 like a kid waiting for Santa, bundled up and headed out before dawn to begin my Big Year. My first bird was a pair of Great Horned Owls, dueling with hoots near Crystal Beach in Cape Elizabeth. Too dark to see them but recorded their duet.
As the sun came up I picked up Ingrid and we headed for Ogunquit hoping to get the rare Rock Wren that belongs in the deserts of the American West, but which has been hanging out at a Maine sea coast restaurant for the last 6 weeks.
Naturally it was hiding, we spent 2 hours over two different visits looking for the critter (he was reported by other birders in between our visits . . . grrrr).
But the rest of our day was very successful including a Snowy Owl, a Western Tanager (another lost bird) and a 1st day total of 40.
Its a long year and lots of birds to find (the State Record is 317), but it’s great to finally be doing my Big Year.