My Big (Bird) Year, 2022

On January 1 we took part in a bird count in Mahone Bay with Kevin, an experienced birder from the Valley. He recommended a movie called “The Big Year” with Owen Wilson and Steve Martin which we watched that night. The kids weren’t interested in watching with us, but it was so good that I watched it again with Milo and Evie the following night after cajoling them into it. It sparked a decision to do my own Big Year although I’m not going for any records. I’m just keeping track of every species of bird I spot through the year. I’ve got this book to make notes in and I’m also using the Nova Scotia Bird Society field checklist:

And these two guide books which complement each other well — one is entirely photographic and the other has Peterson’s detailed artwork.

Plus I have a great pair of binoculars in the car and another set in the house, plus a camera with a brand-new telephoto lens.

As of May 14 I have seen 50 bird species. It’s always a slow start to the year as most of the little birds migrate, but they are making their way back at the moment and I’m looking forward to seeing more and more as the weeks pass. We spotted our first hummingbird of the year (Ruby throated) on 12 May.

My dad is also keeping track in France. They have more birds that overwinter and he’s well ahead of me already.

In other news, I’m working on ideas for My First East Coast Bird Book with Jeff Domm at work so it has been fun to combine my hobby with work.

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