[CT Birds] CT 300 "Incidental" Big Year

Dan Rottino rottino at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 3 10:16:30 EST 2016

Personal (long):  Reflections on CT Big Year.

Thank you to everyone who helped me in any way large or small, or wished me well in achieving 300 CT birds.  I didn't set out to do a CT Big Year, but after getting 290 I thought it was possible.  Not until I got 294 did I think I had a chance and set the goal.  I would not have been able to achieve this were it not for the assistance of so many birders in the field, and timely posts to this website and eBird.  Some years have more chasable species than others, so this bumper year helped.  I hear many birders saying it is their best year.

Black-headed Grosbeak
Says Phoebe
King Rail
Hermit Warbler
Black-legged Kittiwake
Kentucky Warbler
Summer Tanager
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Sprague's Pipit
CT Warbler
Western Grebe
All new state birds for me and 2 lifers.    Attached to each great bird is a great CT birder to be thanked for finding it.  I assume no credit - all I did was chase.  I had some notable misses but lets just not discuss that.  Over 290, things got stressful as my family endured my absences from home, so thank you to them.  In retrospect getting 300 was not as challenging as I expected until I got to 290, when the daylight decreased, birds migrated, and time was precious.  I expect more birders will be breaking this level in upcoming years.  Although I learned alot, and have been birding since I was 10yo, I have much to learn.  A Massachusetts birder said birding was more about people than birds.  There's truth in that for sure.  A CT birder once said "share the birds", and that is what creates comraderie.  I am happy to help others see a new bird when I am able, so feel free to contact me anytime.

Thank you to EVERYone for helping me reach this personal achievement.

I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.

Dan Rottino
East Haddam, CT

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