At the beginning of 2015, I started what I am calling a “Pseudo Big Year”. A Big Year, in birding parlance, is when a birder spends a year of focused effort trying to observe as many bird species as possible in a defined area. In my case, this defined area is Los Angeles County, California. Why “Pseudo”, you ask? Because, unlike many birders, the pursuit of a large number of bird species is not the sole focus of my existence during this effort. I still have a job, I still have a family to spend time with, and I still am spending a large amount of my free time as a trail runner. All of those things take up a large amount of my time. The thing that is different for me in 2015 is a significant effort to make time specifically for birding, and a significant effort in using ebird and other sources to “chase” particular species that have been observed by others. As a birder, even when it was a primary use of my outdoor time, I was never much of a “chaser”, so this is all new to me.
I never intended to use a blog to document what I was doing, but I had multiple friends and colleagues request that I do. I will not go back and write about everything that occurred in January (there was a lot), but I did end the month with 176 species, which is only 22 species short of my total for all of 2014. From this point forward, I will write new posts when significant events on this journey occur.