[CT Birds] Fairfield Big Year Summary

Frank Mantlik mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jan 3 03:20:58 EST 2012

Hi Alex & James,
I'm so glad you two conducted a Fairfield Big Year.  You definitely found some 
great CT birds, that others were then able to enjoy.  And James (and Charlie) 
pointed out some of the reasons for birding close to home.  In my mind, the 
benefits of birding your "local patch" were first demonstrated by Patrick Dugan 
who who has birded Stamford for a heck of a lot of years.  Keep up the good 

For many years, I would conduct a CT Big Year (never that competitive, but for 
my own self-challenge), driving all over the state chasing species.  In fact, I 
used to lead a COA Jan 1st Rarity Chase Trip, which was a lot of fun. (I 
remember one year we had Ash-throated Flycatcher).  But a few years ago, when 
gasoline prices soared, I made the decision to keep it local and concentrate a 
Big Year in my home town.  Charlie Barnard and Scott Kruitbosch (and others) 
joined in, and we have a similar great joint effort going, making for a strong 
friendship, and finding some new good birding sites in the process.  

Our cumulative 2011 Stratford Year (all observers, besides just us three) 
tallied 278 species (I had 241 of those). I'd be happy to forward our complete 
list to anyone who requests it.

Best Birds:  Red-necked Grebe, Brown Pelican, Least Bittern, Tricolored Heron, 
Cattle Egret, Black Vulture, Cackling and Snow Geese, Eurasian Wigeon, Redhead, 
King Eider, Common Eider, Harlequin Duck, Barrow's Goldeneye, Northern Goshawk, 
Rough-legged Hawk, Golden Eagle, American Golden-Plover, Upland Sandpiper, 
Marbled Godwit, Baird's and Stilt Sandpipers, Ruff, Long-billed Dowitcher, 
Red-necked Phalarope, Parasitic Jaeger, Black-headed, Iceland, Glaucous, and 
Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwake, Caspian, Royal, Sandwich, 
Roseate, Bridled, Sooty, and Black Terns, Black Skimmer, Razorbill, Eurasian 
Collared-Dove, Snowy, Long-eared, and Short-eared Owls, Olive-sided and Acadian 
Flycatchers, Philadelphia Vireo, Common Raven, Cave Swallow, Orange-crowned, 
Kentucky, Mourning, and Hooded Warblers, Yellow-breasted Chat, Clay-colored, 
Lark, and Nelson's Sparrows, Lapland Longspur, Dickcissel, Brewer's Blackbird, 
Boat-tailed Grackle, White-winged Crossbill, Common Redpoll.

Biggest Misses: Ring-necked Pheasant (extirpated?), Sora, Worm-eating Warbler, 
Pine Siskin.

Good birding in 2012!

Frank Mantlik
Stratford, CT

From: Alex Burdo <aburdo10 at gmail.com>
To: eyeflight16 at optonline.net
Cc: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Sent: Mon, January 2, 2012 7:17:05 AM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Fairfield Big Year Summary

I second James's encouragement about doing a big year in your home town. There 
is this sort of 'patriotic' feeling that goes with finding a good bird in your 
own town. Overall it was a blast. I had a heck of lot of fun doing the big year 
and doing it with someone like James made it ever the more worthwhile. I believe 
the amount of teamwork that went into it only furthered our great friendship.

I'll be posting the highlights (including photos), the list, etc on my blog in 
the coming week.

Good birding,

Alex Burdo
On Jan 1, 2012, at 11:23 AM, eyeflight16 at optonline.net wrote:

> As some of you may know, Alex Burdo and I did a Fairfield Big Year during 2011, 
>where we tried to see as many species of birds within our town as we could in 
>one year. It ended up being highly successful, with a total of 232 species of 
>birds seen! Anyway, the reason why I am posting this to the list is because I 
>highly encourage others to do a Big Year in their hometown. Not only is it 
>better for the environment to bird locally, but you can discover the most 
>amazing places that you never would have known were there, as well as finding 
>some nice rarities in your own town. I know Alex and I both learned a lot about 
>the birds of Fairfield. I believe Alex will post the entire list on his blog if 
>anyone is interested. Highlights below:
> Best Birds:
> Snow Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, King Eider, Common Eider, Harlequin Duck, Barrow's 
>Goldeneye, Brown Pelican, Cattle Egret, Black Vulture, Northern Goshawk, 
>American Coot, American Golden-Plover, Whimbrel, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, 
>Black-headed Gull, Thayer's Gull, Royal Tern, Black Tern, Razorbill,  
>Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Acadian Flycatcher, Common Raven, Orange-crowned Warbler, 
>Hooded Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lapland Longspur, Blue Grosbeak, 
>Dickcissel, Rusty Blackbird, Common Redpoll, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Sooty Tern
> Biggest Misses:
> Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Ring-necked Pheasant, Bald Eagle, Piping Plover, 
>Purple Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Wilson's Snipe, Long-eared Owl, Horned 
>Lark, Cliff Swallow, Connecticut Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Clay-colored Sparrow
> All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I was glad to share it with such 
>a great kid as Alex. Happy New Year!
> James Purcell
> Fairfield
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