Today gave me reason to consider the baseline level of effort I want to give to the big year project. With work calls and other work tasks to take care of, I didn’t have as much time outside, and with winter’s short days, that did not leave a lot of daylight for observations. I considered how hard to work at finding things to photograph for observations.
It is still early in the year, so there are plenty of easy ‘new’ things to photograph for the year, and with only a little effort, I could have easily come up with a dozen or more plants. However, it also felt like if I did that, I would be ‘using up’ the easy observations, so at some point during the year, I would not be able to find anything I had not already observed.
Of course, there’s no reason not to observe things multiple times, and I do plan to do that, but I also feel like it would be nice to have a new year observation on as many different days as I can (though no doubt by December, that will be exceptionally difficult, unless I intentionally leave myself some things that are relatively easy to observe in the winter).
It will be a work in progress as the year goes on, but for now I’ve resolved to try and make at least three observations a day, ideally with at least one of them new for the year.
While I was on my calls, I did notice a small flock of Bohemian Waxwings fly by, and I realized they are among the bird species I should target for right now. There is no guarantee they will show up again later in the year, so righ now I’ve added them along with White-throated Sparrow and Wood Duck.
Today I did not really chase birds, however. I did spend some time around the airport. It was a half-hearted attempt to see the Short-eared Owl or previously reported Northern Shrike.
It was during this time I considered what observations to go for, and ultimately I picked up three, all new for the year (see link below).
I was curious about the clam I found on the shore of the lagoon. I am guessing (but not certain) it came from the lagoon. It just reminded me of my curiousity about the life in the lagoon – a place I only realized continued to have sea life within the last couple of years (it does not have any open water connection with the ocean – though there is at least some water moving through).
Before heading home, I watched for the green flash from the bridge. I was hoping for a repeat of yesterday’s, but a thick bank of clouds out in the distance kept me from seeing the sun as it dropped below the horizon. I suspect if the clouds hadn’t been there, it would have been another good green flash. As it was, there was a less flashy, but still distinct and colorful green flash as the sun dropped behind the clouds.
My iNaturalist Observations from Today
As of this writing, there are 24 observations of 23 species by 4 observers for the Big Year project – I’m looking forward to seeing each of those numbers climb as the year goes on. You can bookmark the following link if you want to check the progress throughout the year.
Sitka Big Year Project Observations