Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Big Year ~ 2013 Birding Project

I'm gearing up for my next big birding project, my Big Year!  I will be getting out of my comfort zone of watching birds from my balcony and around my home for the most part.  Getting out in nature and trying to visit as many of the Great Washington State Birding Trails (GWSBT) as I can, and observing as many bird species as I can.  I hope to add a few birds to my life list of just over 90 birds.  I plan on recording my sightings in eBird, an online checklist program by the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology that lets you track the birds you see, keep track of your lists, and share your sightings with the community.  I've got my GWSBT map in the mail and the app on my iPhone to help find the birding trails, the iBird app for identifying the birds, and the BirdLog app and eBird for logging the birds!  I'm hooked up!

Yesterday, I played around with the BirdLog app and tested it out.  On my trip to town, I counted 6 Red-tailed Hawks along highway 395 between Clayton and Spokane.  It's amazing how I can spot em', even while driving, although my kids get mad at me... "Watch the road mom, not the birds"!  So while I was getting my hair done, I entered my sightings in the BirdLog app.
After I got home and settled, I reviewed my entries and submitted them to eBird.  It was fairly easy.  Can't wait for next week when I start entering ALL the birds I see!  The exciting thing about my Big Year project, is that even if I have seen the bird species before, it's like seeing it anew, because I will get to count them and add them to my lists, and report my sightings.  Not only will I have a life list, but will have a year list, a yard list, and on location lists.  Lots of lists!

Oh how I wish I had better camera equipment to document my sightings.  I have a FujiFilm Finepix HS10 with a 30x zoom, which does help out in the field to zoom in on those far off birds.  The photo quality is not the greatest.  I really want to concentrate on taking better photos, and using more manual settings.  But that is hard sometimes when you are out in the field and have to snap a quick photo before the darn bird flies off!  At the very least, I should be shooting at a quick shutter speed to capture the action of my feathered friends. I'll be bringing my tripod along to get those steady shots.

Recently I have been posting my blog on Google+, which is kind of like a photo sharing social site. If you happen to belong to Google+, be sure to look me up!  I belong to several birding communities and get to see lots of beautiful nature photography.  This has increased the traffic on my blog quite a bit.  Earlier this month, I was excited to have almost 900 pageviews (since starting my blog in June 2010) and looking forward to hitting 1000.  Now, I have surpassed 1200 views from all over the world!  I added a view counter here on the blog.  It's right above my life list on the right ---->

Lots of great technology to assist my 2013 Big Year!  I'm ready!


  1. Wow, you are ready! I use ebird also, used to have the app on my blog, should add it again. Good luck in 2013! Happy New Year.

    1. I see you added the BirdTrax to your blog that shows the eBird sightings in your area. I checked it out and decided to add the gadget to my blog too! Goes right along with my Big Year Project for 2013!