597 Birds....

So 2009 has been put to bed and 600 Birds comes to a turning point of sorts. The idea or concept of this blog began as a way to document my travels to various birding events around the country and my quest to see 600 different bird species in North America. This pursuit was not simply an attempt to reach a personal goal or fulfill a lifelong dream. At its core, it was a beer bet between me and a few coworkers here at Eagle Optics. When the clock struck midnight and the new year dawned, I lost that bet.

How close did I get? 597 species was where I stood at the end of the year and where I still sit today. Let me tell you, those last 3 species have been hard to find, given my limited ability to just hop in the car and chase birds. Sure, there were chances to travel north and hunt down a Hoary Redpoll, Gyrfalcon, and Bohemian Waxwing for example. The problem is that December just isn't a good month for me to get away.

So having lost 2 cases of beer (is it possible to lose something you never really had?) and fallen short of my much publicized goal, I come into 2010 anticipating the joy of seeing my 600th bird species without the pressure of a deadline. That doesn't mean I won't celebrate though!

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