Friday, November 7, 2014

Introducing the Orange Big Month

Without coast, without mountains, without charisma, the city of Orange will nevertheless produce an enviable avian bounty over the next month.

A renaissance is under way—I have returned to birding regularly. Last February, I went twenty-three days without entering an eBird checklist (yes, I counted, and yes, I am horrified). At one point this summer, I found my windowsilled binoculars serving as an anchor for a gargantuan spider web. This morning, I wiped months (years?) of accumulated sand, food residue, and fingerprints from my binoculars, resurrected my high school bike from retirement, and headed to Santiago Oaks Regional Park to began the City Big Month (hereafter CBM).

A Big Year is too big of a commitment. And I want to limit myself geographically. So—from November 6th until December 6th, I will ransack every corner* of Orange for avian booty. Birds will be ruthlessly located, identified, and reported to eBird; my goal is 125 species. The CBM, I’m hoping, will motivate me to bird locally a lot in the next month.

A tribute to the good old days when I actually had a camera--a Western Bluebird, already battled and subdued as a part of the CBM

Santiago Oaks gave me a good start this morning: Red-breasted Sapsucker, Varied Thrush, Purple Finch. And now, if you will excuse me, I’m venturing outside to listen for the neighborhood Great Horned Owls.

* I will include Irvine Regional Park even though it isn’t in city limits. My reasoning: (1) the park’s street address is Orange, and (2) Irvine Regional Park is awesome. 

1 comment:

Tom said...

Go Neil! Smart man limiting it to just one city and one month.