Count update: 111/400
It has been another amazing day in Arizona adding 10 new “year birds”. Tom and I did an early walk in light rain at Saguaro National Park, through century old saguaro cacti as tall as a house (yep, that’s a real estate reference). Next we stopped by a sewage pond in Alma, where a confused Brown Pelican has wandered far from its normal salt water range. The highlights of the day were at the bird feeders at Santa Rita Lodge in the evergreens of Madera Canyon. This has been a historic birder destination for many years. We found the feeders loaded with lots of unusual species including several new year birds and one I’d never seen before: Rivoli’s Hummingbird (lifer!). We topped off birding with dinner at Lin’s Grand Buffet. My gravestone may well read, “I’ve never met a buffet I did not like.”
Jim is attempting to find and identify 400 different species of birds in the USA in 2018. Although significant, 400 is a modest “Big Year” goal for birders. A larger goal would require more travel. The national record is around 750.