I made a mistake. I took my husband, John Hargrove, to see "The Big Year" early in November, just before it disappeared from theaters. Then I got the book so we could compare movie and author versions. Turns out we were aboard Debbie Shearwater's boat when the guy who came in second, Greg Miller, got his 700th bird for the year and one of our friends came in 4th that same year, 1998. Meanwhile, John started researching big year info on the internet and following John Vanderpoel's blog. I tried to redirect him to just seeing the 50 or so North American birds we haven't seen yet. Too late. I'm doomed. He tells me he has always secretly nursed an ambition to do a big year. Out come the notebooks and calendars. Research, his favorite activity.
Now the new year is nigh. We are in Texas visiting relatives for Christmas so we will start His Big Year New Year's Eve in Winnie, Texas. We will be looking for the RUFF and some longspurs New Year's Day. I will try to post a few times as we meander through south Texas, New Mexico and Arizona on our way home to Southern California.