Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | June 16, 2011

The Race to 300

Of course, I can remember the day I officially became “one of them…,” a “birder”.. she who is obsessed with checkmarks — it was less than a year ago… July 31, 2010 – and my very first birding partner, LAR took me on my first birding trip to an exciting new place called Forsythe.

While I was at Forsythe, I picked up 2 documents that would change my life, a checklist and a brochure of what birds appear and when. These two documents appeal to everything that makes me “tick.” My (“type A,” project manager-background, need to check or cross off things off a list) personality soon found the next thing that would bring satisfaction (and give me an excuse to be outdoors for long periods of time) – BIRDING.

Next came the trips to Sandy Hook and then I graduated… CAPE MAY Fall ’10 (“the Fallout of a Millenium”) – I made it to the “big leagues.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, a PASSION was born!

As a kid, I was a bird “appreciator” and kept little notebooks (to quote Lady Gaga “Baby, I was born this way.”) My young person-scribble indicated that I saw “a sparrow” or “a seagull” (gasp – Amateur!) So I tried to translate whatever I could into my lifelist, like the birdies daddy pointed out to me on our cross-country trip.

Readers of this blog know that my (original) 200th lifebird came on December 26th, and was a controversial one… Trumpeter Swan – most likely introduced, of course.

Recently, I was convinced (by someone I respect very very highly) to remove Trumpeter Swan off my list (because it is clearly not supposed to be here.) And that set me thinking… perhaps I should remove the “pre-listers” too?…   I figured it’s now or never… BAM!!! Off came 11 more birds. Further from 300, I felt shell-shocked, but confident that my list is “legit.”

One by one… I climb my way back to where I was…

Eight ticks, lyme disease and 3 antibiotics later…. my list stands at 288, with 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 days until my one year anniversary, and deadline for my 300 goal.  I do have a few “tricks” up my sleeves, and it’s doable, but at least I feel like I am really earning every last one of these birdies (oh, and having a BLAST doing it.)

To view an updated list of “target birds” that I hope will get me to my goal, please visit Of course, leads are always welcome!!

In honor of one of the most patient and generous birding "teachers" I know. Thank You!


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