As always it is now time for the results of the Big January competition, an annual event where birders across Connecticut attempt to tally as many species as possible within the first month of the year. Frank Mantlik provided me with the guest post below, and I have linked the Big January lists of the individuals who submitted one with their tally in their names below.
As in past years, many people who actively birded the state of CT in January 2013 submitted their lists of birds seen during the month. The friendly competition known as the Big January serves as a catalyst to get afield in the coldest time of the year. Some want to start the New Year off with many rare birds; others simply want to reach the arbitrary threshold of 90 species.
Well the results are in. A number of people amassed impressive lists. But the top total of 144 species was recorded by SARA ZAGORSKI, who we declare the winner. Congratulations! Here is the list of those who chose to submit their results.
1. Sara Zagorski 144
2. Bill Asteriades 133 (counting Trumpeter Swan)
Paul Wolter 133 (counting Trumpeter Swan)
4. Robert Dixon 130
5. John Marshall 128 (counting Trumpeter Swan)
6. Greg Hanisek 126
7. Russ Smiley 119
8. Angela Dimmitt 115
9. Frank Gallo 112
10. Frank Mantlik 109 (99 in Stratford)
11. Charlie Barnard 108
12. Mike Warner 99
13. Bill Batsford 96
14. George Stephens 92
Among the rarest species reported include: Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Cackling Goose, Trumpeter Swan (though not yet on the official CT list), Eurasian Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Common Eider, Black Scoter, Northern Gannet, American Bittern, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, White Ibis, Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Virginia Rail, American Oystercatcher, Red Knot, Black-headed Gull, Iceland Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Murre, Razorbill, Eastern Phoebe, Northern Shrike, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Marsh Wren, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Vesper Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Meadowlark, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Boat-tailed Grackle, Bullock’s Oriole, Pine Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, and Hoary Redpoll.
Here are five photos of some great birds contributed by Bill Asteriades - thanks Bill!
If anyone else has great lists, stories, or photos from birding efforts in January 2013 we would love to see them. Please leave a comment on this entry with anything you would like to share.