Around the first of December I make my birding goals for the next year. I know I don’t need any goals to go birding, but having a few goals always seem to help motivate me to get out and go. Plus I have always been a goal oriented person.
Moving to Indiana at the start of 2013 I wasn’t sure what my goals would be. Somewhere around mid-February I decided on birding mainly Johnson County with a goal of 200 species. I am going to be short unless a miracle happens, since I am currently at 195. So another year of trying for 200 in Johnson County is a possibility.
Another possibility is a big green year birding (BIGBY) either in Johnson County or include all the surrounding counties. A BIGBY means that you use no motorized vehicles – just walking or biking from your residence. This appeals to me since I have limited time and I miss regular exercise. Yes, I could exercise more but I would love to combine it with birding. The problem with a BIGBY is that living in Indiana the months of November to February are basically non-biking months. But I only live a mile from the country. And 2-1/2 miles from the Walmart–Lowe’s retention pond that usually has decent waterfall all winter. So I could walk to them on a weekend. But I wouldn’t see most of Atterbury FWA in the winter, since it is 9 miles away.
And I miss watching goals and terns. In other words I need to go to a big lake or river on a regular basis. And that would take away time from other birding goals. But since most gulls are seen in winter, I wouldn’t miss many of the local birds.
And there are a couple of things from Kenn Kaufman’s Kingbird Highway that I think about when I am debating with myself what to do the following year. First, he did his big year on less than $1000. How much do the current participants spend? $100,000? Something doesn’t seem right about that to me. Or even driving a lot of miles just to bird you local state. And on page 6 he talks about when he was younger having big days of 100+ species by bike. If you have been following my blog you probably know this appeals to me. Imagine knowing his local area so well he could pull off a hundred-plus species in a town like Wichita, Kansas. If only I had a large lake or reservoir nearby I’d be set. But I don’t.
So it comes down to what I picture myself doing on Saturday mornings in 2014. Getting up and walking/biking an area withe the limit set by my physical ability? But getting into better shape. Or getting to more habitats quicker and getting more birding in?
I still have a few weeks to decide.
Anyone have goals they would like to comment about?