Our Mid-Coast Maine Big Day is over and I’m exhausted. My “much much” younger wife doesn’t seem to be at all weary from 18 straight hours of birding.
We ended up identifying 102 species which exceeded our goal of 100 bird . . . but fell short of the 108 we got on a California Big Day in 2018.
We got clobbered by the University of New England team that amassed 134 birds yesterday, primarily birding southern Maine. We worked Mid-Coast Maine . . . which was a strategic mistake (another item I blame on my advanced age).
Our first bird of the day was a Song Sparrow that we heard from our deck at 3:55 am. Our last bird was a flock of Chimney Swifts spiraling into a Brunswick Dry Cleaner’s Chimney after dusk.
We actually were in the field until almost 10:00 pm listening for Eastern Whip-poor-wills, but we came up empty on that pursuit . . . something birders call “dipping”.
Our northern most bird was a common place House Sparrow in Camden and the southern most was a rare Roseate Tern in Brunswick.
Our favorite bird was a normally shy and reclusive American Bittern, who posed for us and flew a couple times in the open.
Ingrid and I agreed that we probably won’t do a Big Day every year. Its not a very rewarding way of birding as you immediately move on as soon as you hear or see the bird. No time for photographing, studying or enjoying the sightings . . . just a whirl-wind of stress.
But we had fun for a day and reached 100.