The RGV has quieted down after the excitement of the Thanksgiving holiday and we have been under the weather with “chest colds” so there is nothing new to report. But, we hope that we’ll have a chance to see some eastern specialties over the Christmas holiday.
Our son, Allan, graduates from Cornell University in December and we’ll be there to see his big day. Following that, what better way to celebrate than a visit to the famed Sapsucker Woods for some winter birding? (Well, for us anyway.) Then, it’s off for holiday visits to family in New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida – a regular smorgasbord of East Coast birding opportunities (with free lodgings to boot!) Let’s just hope that a rarity or two turns up during our whirlwind tour.
This final birding opportunity of 2014 will easily push my Year List over 500 species, but I’ll have to be extremely lucky to hit my Life List goal of 700 species by the end of the year. Still, in the first year of my Eight Years to 800!? project, I’ve done fairly well. I have added 32 species to my list during 2014, bringing my total to 693, just 7 less than my round-number goal.
Unfortunately, I have not done too well on the Code 3+ rarities. For the most part, I did not chase many rarities unless they were very close to me; and when I did chase later in the year I had a success rate of only about 35%. Let’s just say it has been a learning experience. I hope I’ll do better from here on out. I’ll need to to get anywhere close to 800 in just 5.5 more years!
On the budget front, I did fairly well. I expect my birding-related expenditures will be about $6000 for the year. That’s about what we normally spend for travel in a given year. Future expenses will need to be much higher, especially since we will be making some trips to Alaska in the coming years.