To boldly go......
|Turquoise Tanager 901 in Trinidad|
|the historic halls of Asa Wright|
|910-Rufous-tailed Jacamar in Trinidad|
I had heavy thoughts last year and they continue into this year. Along the way, you meet people who have made an impact on your own life while searching for the world's 10,500+ birds. During my research, I'd find old records from birders who are no longer with us. Sometimes, I'd erase the digital record of that person and replace it with my own discovery. And I didn't want to erase their name from the "last seen" category because that person had meant the world to so many birders, including myself.
|920 Green-backed Trogon in Trinidad|
I share a delicious rum on a boat while observing thousands of Scarlet Ibis and American Flamingos, absorbing every second of my visit. Is this how the others before me felt when they saw their first birds?
|Sunset at the Caroni Swamp|
The miracle of this birding life goes beyond anything I could have dreamed of. After each place I discover, I leave behind my own data trail for future generations. I am 46 now. I began this journey in my late 30's. Time weighs heavily on me. We don't have all the time in the world. It took some time to reach a thousand. How long will it take to reach 2000 or 3000?
I stand in unknown lands and know that my time is precious and limited. I have to make it count.
The time differences, sleep schedules and exhausting treks all pay off when we find our target birds.
|950-Zebra Dove O'ahu, Hawai'i|
Along the way, we meet all kinds of wonderful people. And while the world seems to be falling apart around us, I see wonderful human people erasing the doubts I have about this planet.
|960 Gray Francolin on Maui, Hawai'i|
Elevation is my kryptonite. The White-tailed Tropicbirds, Northern Fulmars and White-tailed Ptarmigans have made me question myself as we go above and beyond the clouds and walk along the edges of sea cliffs.
1000 life birds. It's no joke. I can't believe I have been so focused on that number. Now that I've reached it, I find myself relaxing a bit.
|970-Eurasian Skylark on Maui and in Llangoed, Wales|
|980-Carrion Crow, Wales|
I love birds a lot, but I've really come to cherish the moments I get to spend with friends old and new. Each moment counts. It's all we got.
|990 Eurasian Blue Tit|
|1000 Eurasian Bullfinch|