In the spirit of Ted Floyd’s Big Walk http://blog.aba.org/2013/06/the-bare-naked-big-walk.html and Greg Neise and Jeff Skrentny Illinois Monthly Big Days (See Illinois Birders’ Forum http://www.ilbirds.com/), I have decided to do a monthly self-powered Big Day this year. I will start this month by walking but I’m sure it will turn into a Bike – Walk when the weather improves. The forecast this Saturday is calling for a high in the 20’s with snow and wind, and Sunday a little warmer with lighter wind but still snow. So either day I won’t be biking.
My main reason for doing a Big Day of any sort is what you may find. Just like my earlier post on the more hours you spend in the field during a month the more species you will find http://wp.me/p3Q2lz-30, almost every Big Day I have done I have ended finding something special. I am sure it has to do with being out 10-12 hours in a day instead of the usual 3-4 hours.
The hardest part won’t be the weather or actual physical exercise, but like with all Big Days, it will be on deciding the route. And since I will be walking there won’t be any chance to go back and hit any areas. Plus I will probably only have one chance to visit the different habitats. So each stop will have to pay off.
Thus far this month I have seen 41 species on my weekend walks. So a goal of seeing 40 seems like a reasonable goal. But if the local pond freezes over in the next couple of days of below zero temperature, then I will be out of luck and 35 might be a better goal. But if it stays open then the waterfowl might be congregated there with hopefully a large variety of different species and my final total might just surprise me!