I'm excited, tomorrow is the first day of the winter bird atlas season and I have the privileged opportunity of running around the state counting everything that flies from Dec. 1st thru the 14th of Feb. I finally have the opportunity to get out in the field and get something done! The moment that I started doing "professional" field work my wife made it a rule that I don't get to bird unless it's for work...so much for chasing the rarities! On the other hand this rule has probably helped my career more than anything. I now spend my free time (is there really free time?) trying to figure out what to write about next, working on schoolwork, and keeping my three girls(wife included) as happy as their silly ol' daddy can.
Just as I mentioned tomorrow is the first day of the season, so I 've decided to do a little "work" locally. The forecast is calling for 50% chance of rain, judging by today's whether and the system that is coming in it looks a little more like 90% but I'm not a weather man. The great Gold-fronted Woodpecker man himself Mike H. has decided to break from his very busy schedule as college advisor and full time professor and come and brave the not-so birdy weather in the morning. We will be taking a look at Lake Lawtonka, Lake Ellsworth and the Wichita Mtns. Wildlife Refuge. This will be good, seeing as I have been in the books for the last few months I could use a brush up on sparrows and waterbirds at a distance.
So with the season comes a few goals.
1. 50 birds a day (Is that too much to ask?)
2. Find as many of the Special Interest Species as possible.
3. A new state record gull????
4. Good, clear, identifiable shots of a Goshawk, so that I can put to rest any doubts about my
id skills concerning Accipiters!
5. Finish all 33 Blocks.
6. Safe Traveling, especially in McCurtain County!
7. A safe 3 months for my girls, while daddy is on the road.