You smug bastard.
I can only imagine how that might feel, but it’s a new year… sort of… and I believe in my ability to do new things, despite decades of evidence to the contrary. So, inspired by the wave of birding resolutions I saw people posting in January, I’ve set myself a Birding Goal for 2018.
Are you ready? Here it comes.
In 2018, I will bird in a new state every month.
I don’t mean a state that I’ve never birded in before. Thanks to my freewheeling, road-tripping youth, there are precious few of those. I just mean a state that I haven’t birded in yet this year.
The hustling millennials who dominate bird Twitter would probably yawn at such a modest goal. Likewise the well-heeled geriatric crowd, which lives the dream of birding vacations and naps all year long. But for me it's a stretch. Aside from my important job of frowning at a laptop all day and occasionally typing something into it, I stay busy at home with my two-year-old daughter. Though delightful and precocious in nearly every way, she’s been vexingly slow to catch the birding bug. So it’s hard enough to find a free hour during the week to get out and do my thing, let alone time to travel to another state. In fact, since she was born, I have birded in exactly three states. Damn.
So how will I do it? Let’s see…
I live in California, so that one was a freebie. In fact I started the year with a bang, seeing 97 species in the L.A. area on New Year’s Day. More on that in a future post, but for now, a token bird pic from that glorious day:
In March I have a planned vacation to the Southeast, where I’ll probably get to bird in three or four different states! But all in March, so that only takes care of one month.
I’ll probably get to a couple more east-coast states at different times of the year, since my extended family is over there. The little rugrat will be with me for those trips, so I’ll have to train her either to tolerate birding, or, more likely, to tolerate me leaving her in a stranger’s care for a few hours while I go birding alone. I know you’re scared, sweetie, but Daddy’s on a mission, OK? Suck it up.
How I’ll fill the rest of the months is anyone’s guess. By my calculations, I can drive to either Arizona or Nevada in a little over three hours, so… those would be the “easy” ones, I guess. Otherwise I have no idea. Fortunately I have some time to figure it out.
Exciting, right??? Right???
Ah, shut up.