I was talking with Deb the other day as we reminisced about past 'turns of a year'. Remember in 2000, when essentially the technology world was going to fall apart since no one quite knew how computers would 'accept and address' the new century? But even as 2000 came, and went...and sadly computers were still with us, .... we then postponed the 'conspiracy theory' that the world was coming to a close since the new century doesn't technically start until 2001.
Speaking of 'world coming to an end'....what happened to that Maya Calendar thing?
Anyhow....2022 it is now, and let me ask of you; do you have your birding goals set? I bring that as a question---for a goal is not that bad of a thing to have. As I perused thru one of my old journals, and this one dating from 2017, this is what I found.
Birding goals for 2018 were in New Jersey: Northern Goshawk, Virginia Rail, Cackling goose, Brown Pelican, Least Bittern, Cliff Swallow, Sedge Wren, Vesper Sparrow, Kentucky Warbler, Least Flycatcher and Northern Waterthrush. Now being a relatively new-comer to the fine state of Jersey, those were birds that were on my jersey list.
Since that time I have seen the Goshawk, I have heard the Virginia Rail several times (not bad), seen the Cackling Goose as well as the Pelican and the Cliff Swallow, but have woefully fallen short on the rest. So, am I to just assume that the remaining are just carried over like some old accounting trick on taxes to the following year? Perhaps my tax situation has changed and that particular bird, while nice to have, is not on my list anymore.
Wasn't it Alfred Tennyson who said:
"Ring out, wild bells....to the Wild Sky."
If such is true, the wild sky being my upcoming cycle of birding would most likely include the 'rest' on that dated list from 2017. Looking at that list, I don't think the Sedge Wren at Jakes Landing will occur since I will be in Australia for the balance of the upcoming months and Sedge Wrens are winter wrens around here. The elusive Northern Waterthrush, so seemingly easy to find...has just not made a visual impression upon me. I really feel it is one of those types of birds that just 'appear' and are not sought after.
The least bittern? ...while nice...it might also fall under the same category of a bird not easily sought, but just accidentally found. I feel I have a shot at the Kentucky Warbler if I make a point to bird some of the 'tall' trees upwards. The vesper sparrow? ... That is asking for one. The flycatcher? Ditto...
So my list has dwindled down to the Kentucky Warbler. If I tackle just one....just one...and only that sole creature, well...I might have a chance.
The other thing I would like to do as a goal is to 'bird' at least once per week. That isn't asking a lot and is doable since nature, is nature creeps towards us with every step we take. Bird the wires, the bushes....the lawns, let alone the refuges or parks or the shore or mountains or the skies. I just want to document these within my journal as I reflect from day to day, week to week...and certainly they add up to a year.
The second thing I wanted to point to you; beyond that of your birding goal'.... is that of visiting the Bird Forum. I have supported this forum since 2006 and have used it to find birds here in the US as I travel, to discuss optics and equipment...to find birding pals in South America and Australia..to sell or buy birding cameras's / binoculars etc... Truly a valuable resource. I don't like to participate much on e-bird but find the Bird Forum a nice resting spot for my attention when inclement weather hits and I can't bird in the field. Give it a shot.
Bottom line...two things. Your birding goals and Birding Forum.