Sunday, April 29, 2007

Big Day in Orange County

Yesterday I participated in a real Big Day for the first time. Big Days are birding competitions where you try to count as many species as you can in a 24 hour period, from midnight to midnight. Often they are used as funraisers for groups like the Audubon Society, where teams get sponsors to either donate a set amount, or give a certain amount of money per bird species seen.
This Warbling Vireo was one of many seen over the course of our day.

My team consisted of Vic Leipzig, Tom Benson, and Mark Singer, who is on the team listed as holding the current Orange County Big Day record. We had a 20 hour run, where we spent time at different locations all over the county, from Laguna to Seal Beach to find a total of around 170 species. We missed some birds (though not for lack of trying) that I would have expected us to get easily in the county - like Blue-gray Gnatcatchers - but we also picked up a few species - like Bald Eagle and Saw-whet Owl - that I have never seen in the county.
we picked up a large portion of our freshwater marsh birds at SJWS

This Black-throated Gray was foraging in the parkinglot at SJWS

Greater White-fronted Goose from a little neighborhood park.

This Townsend's Warbler was at Peter's Canyon in Orange.

Overall it was a really exciting and exhausting experience, which I would do it again in a heartbeat!

1 comment:

Larry said...

Never tried a big day but it sounds like fun.-nice photos!