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ABA Big Year 2019

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Old Thursday 7th February 2019, 14:57   #1
trptjoe
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ABA Big Year 2019

With at least five birders diving deeply into ABA Big Years in 2019 it seems time to get this thread rolling!
John Weigel, of course.
Gaylee and Richard Dean, going for three 700+ years in a row!
David & Tammy McQuade, who've been warming up for this for a number of years.

And for all we know, there may be others out there!

Happy New Big Year!

Joe
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Old Thursday 7th February 2019, 15:29   #2
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Thanks again for keeping us up to date - much appreciated.
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Old Thursday 7th February 2019, 15:36   #3
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Joe

Thank you.

Are there blogs etc?

I have seen JW's:-

https://birdingyear.com/the-list-so-far/

https://birdingyear.com/freezing-in-fargo/

Three in a row! 25 years since I did a British yearlist and I still don't fancy doing another one yet.

All the best
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Old Friday 8th February 2019, 22:01   #4
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It looks like it is shaping up to be a fun year:-

https://ebird.org/top100?locInfo.regionCode=aba&yr=cur

All the best
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Old Saturday 9th February 2019, 15:26   #5
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Here's the kickoff to the new year. I'm not yet in contact with the McQuades, although I met them a few year ago here in Illinois at a failed Common Ringed Plover chase; they're not likely to remember me. As in the past, I have access to the Deans' lists (I like typing that). Although the numbers are the same, they each have three species the other does not yet have. However, all are Code 1 birds. John, of course, is getting them on his blog, and hopes to get his eBird listings up with photos, but he's finding it tough to keep up, time-wise. You may recall that he had a friend doing eBird listings last time. He'll figure it out, though.
Joe
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Old Saturday 9th February 2019, 22:17   #6
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Joe

Very many thanks.

So in short, John is leading the way again with far more code 3+ species........

I think that I am right that at this stage in 2016, he had 10 (Code 4) & 21 (Code 3) whereas currently, he has 1 (Code 5), 8 (Code 4) & 14 (Code 3). I suspect in reality, the Code 3 difference can be swept up later and so he is neck and neck with his previous pace.

07.02.16 - 264
Code 1 - 194
Code 2 - 39
Code 3 - 21
Code 4 - 10
Code 5 - 0

07.02.19 - 257
Code 1 - 209
Code 2 - 25
Code 3 - 14
Code 4 - 8
Code 5 - 1

All the best
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Old Saturday 16th February 2019, 22:10   #7
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The Deans reached 350 (halfway to the magic number!) today.
The McQuades are right there, too.
John should soon be back in the game after heading back to Australia for a funeral.

Joe
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 23:24   #8
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Is Nicole's friend Amanda Damin doing a Big Year too? She was in Miami last week for LaSagra's flycatcher, western spindalis, and thick-billed vireo. Yesterday she picked up the garganey in Sacramento, CA.
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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 15:40   #9
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I haven't heard that she is, but that's some serious birding!

The Deans are at 385 (Richard) and 384 (Gaylee); the McQuades are ahead by a bit. John is out there racking 'em up; we all look forward to his next update.

Joe
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Old Tuesday 12th March 2019, 13:45   #10
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Here's an update!
John picked up the provisional Long-legged Buzzard on St. Paul.
The Deans are visiting family in Michigan, where the new birds have not yet started to come in (same as here in Chicago).
The McQuades aren't yet ready to add their lists to this aggregation; it's early.
Amanda is going for 700; we'll see if she'll decide to join the bunch.
We'll see if anyone else is out there who will (as John put it to me), "do a John Weigel to John Weigel." He does love this game...

Lists attached.

Joe
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Old Saturday 30th March 2019, 13:28   #11
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Throwing out the fact that, by definition, every year is an historic year, this could be the first year that has six birders reach the 700 benchmark. Tammy & David McQuade have submitted their lists for the first time, and they asked me to make clear that their goal is 700 in the Continental ABA (possibly without Canada). So far the only birder chasing John is John. But you never know, right?
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Old Monday 8th April 2019, 03:06   #12
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The Deans hit 500 today! Although Gaylee prefers red wine -
Here are the updated lists.
Joe
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File Type: xlsx NewABABigYears2019ByCode.xlsx (614.9 KB, 22 views)
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 16:18   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trptjoe View Post
So far the only birder chasing John is John. But you never know, right?
Joe - I would welcome your informed opinion. It appears that whilst the others in the non race are following a fairly consistent strategy, John has headed for something a bit more unusual by heading to Hawaii so early in the year.

Seems odd that he has gone just as the flood of migrants is appearing in the southern states. With no updates on his blog since mid March, it is not easy to understand the reasoning - what is he chasing? and what is possible here that couldn't wait?
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Old Wednesday 17th April 2019, 00:37   #14
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I think he wants to try a different strategy, as no Big Year birder has ever done Hawaii this early. I know he plans to try for some species that are really hard to get, but I'm not sure if that will happen now or later. As far as spring migrants go, the party is only beginning, so I don't think he's in danger of missing anything, at least not yet.
I haven't posted any updates because I needed to do the Continental sheets. Didn't need to do that until someone went to Hawaii...
From now on there will be New ABA sheets and Continental sheets. I'm only posting the Continental this time, as they're the same. I put the updates on hold until I could do the new sheets, which take some time (spread out over a few days).
The McQuades and Deans are safely above 500, even with provisionals.

Joe
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Old Wednesday 17th April 2019, 14:26   #15
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Here are the updated New ABA sheets. For the past couple of years I've wondered if hitting Hawaii early, then late, would make a difference. People have learned to strategize Alaska, and I've thought there must be a seasonal aspect to Hawaii, too. This year will tell!
Joe
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File Type: xlsx NewABABigYears2019ByCode.xlsx (615.1 KB, 23 views)
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Old Friday 19th April 2019, 12:28   #16
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Originally Posted by trptjoe View Post
Here are the updated New ABA sheets. For the past couple of years I've wondered if hitting Hawaii early, then late, would make a difference. People have learned to strategize Alaska, and I've thought there must be a seasonal aspect to Hawaii, too. This year will tell!
Joe
Well that answered that. John now back on mainland. Guessing it appears he went for the pelagic and then blitzed Big Island as a bycatch.will wait for the blog to confirm.
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Old Friday 26th April 2019, 22:04   #17
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Here an update. John's are easy to find, although he'll have to email me to keep the Continental list accurate. I have access to the Deans' lists, and the McQuade's send an update every week.
Heading toward 600! (I might hit 150 in Illinois this weekend; whoo-hoo!)
Joe
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File Type: xlsx NewABABigYears2019.xlsx (131.1 KB, 36 views)
File Type: xlsx NewABABigYears2019ByCode.xlsx (614.8 KB, 27 views)
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Old Thursday 2nd May 2019, 11:38   #18
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Has anyone been following John Weigel's Big Year attempt #2?
http://birdingyear.com/the-list-so-far/

He has not updated his blog since mid March, but has updated his species list and there are some things I find hard to understand. I have never been to USA, but shouldn't the spring be the best birding time there also? In John's list there are several days gaps with no new species, and he still lacks huge numbers of Code 1 and Code 2 species. Like no new species 25.-26. and 28.-29. of April. What could that be about?

If my spreadsheet is correct, he has 45 coded birds + 2 provisionals so far. Birds are in chronological order, sorry.

Code 3:
Hook-Billed Kite
Clay-cloured Trush
Tropical Parula
Aplomado Falcon
Rufous-backed Robin
American Flamingo
Smooth-billed Ani
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Ruddy Ground-Dove
Rose-throated Becard
Tundra Bean Goose
Brambling
Little Gull
Morelet's Seedeater
Shiny Cowbird
Great Skua
Western Spindalis
La Sagra's Flycatcher
Ruff
McKay's Bunting
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Palila
Red-tailed Tropicbird
Juan Fernandez Petrel
Hawaiian Petrel
Bulwer's Petrel
Akiapolaau
Hawaii Creeper
Hawaii Akepa
Masked Booby
Cook's Petrel

Code 4:
Pink-Footed Goose
Fieldfare
Golden-crowned Warbler
Red-flanked Bluetail
White-throated Trush
Dusky Warbler
Crimson-collared Grosbeak
Yellow Grosbeak
Thick-billed Vireo
Garganey
Key West Quail-Dove
Bahama Mockingbird

Code 5:
Great Black Hawk

Provisional:
Dark-Billed Cuckoo
Long-legged Buzzard

He has dipped (according to blog updates) at least following coded species:
Code 3:
Whooper Swan - Adak, Alaska
Tufted Duck - North Carolina
Black-headed Gull - Philadelphia
Black-capped Gnatcatcher - Arizona
Rufous-capped Warbler - Arizona

Code 4:
Barnacle Goose - Philadelphia, Chicago
White-tailed Eagle - St Paul, Alaska
Roadside Hawk - Texas
Blue Bunting - Texas
Bananaquit - Florida
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Old Friday 3rd May 2019, 10:19   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikli View Post
Has anyone been following John Weigel's Big Year attempt #2?
http://birdingyear.com/the-list-so-far/

He has not updated his blog since mid March, but has updated his species list and there are some things I find hard to understand. I have never been to USA, but shouldn't the spring be the best birding time there also? In John's list there are several days gaps with no new species, and he still lacks huge numbers of Code 1 and Code 2 species. Like no new species 25.-26. and 28.-29. of April. What could that be about?
Tikli

As I noted and Joe confirmed, it appears that John is trying something different and it appears to be meeting with mixed success.

He is roughly 50 species down from where he was in 2016 in my estimation. There are some glaring gaps in his list which is difficult to see why he hasn't seen, but this is still early days and they should be simple to pick up as he goes along.

Also, although spring has pushed into the lower states it is only just coming into migration season in the more northern US never-mind Canada and Alaska.

Gaps are difficult to comment on without the text of his blog. It is tempting to say that the 25-26 gap was an attempt for the Red-legged Thrush - and he missed it. Maybe a chase for Mangrove cuckoo? Antillean Nighthawk? etc.

I suspect that your dip list will grow when we find out.
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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 15:32   #20
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An interesting weekend, as John takes the lead for the first time (New ABA). As of right now on Monday morning, John has 561 while the Dean and McQuades all have 558. Continental-wise, I have John at 519.
Lists to follow within a couple of days.

Regarding spring migrants in America, migration is just starting to kick in for the Northern section of the US. I'm in Chicago, where I've had only seven species of warbler so far. I'll end up with almost all of the 36 species we get every year.

Joe
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Old Wednesday 8th May 2019, 14:58   #21
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Updated lists, which, of course, are already out of date because it's May!
Joe
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File Type: xlsx NewABABigYears2019.xlsx (131.1 KB, 20 views)
File Type: xlsx NewABABigYears2019ByCode.xlsx (614.7 KB, 19 views)
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Old Monday 13th May 2019, 16:08   #22
Brian J Small
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Originally Posted by Muppit17 View Post
John is trying something different and it appears to be meeting with mixed success.
I am struggling with some of his photos..

Brian
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Old Monday 13th May 2019, 19:40   #23
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I am struggling with some of his photos..

Brian
So am I! Have all the pix from his last attempt been checked?

John
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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 01:59   #24
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No. He knows he needs to do some editing. Incorporating the photos is proving to be difficult.

In breaking news, the McQuades and the Deans hit 600 today in the Pacific Northwest! Amazingly, all four birders are at 601 starting today.

Joe
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File Type: xlsx NewABABigYears2019ByCode.xlsx (614.5 KB, 38 views)

Last edited by trptjoe : Tuesday 14th May 2019 at 14:48.
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Old Thursday 16th May 2019, 02:03   #25
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Since my last post, John Weigel has added six coded birds:
Black-capped Gnatcatcher (3) - back-added, 26th March
Murphy's Petrel (3)
Common Greenshank (3)
Black-tailed Godwit (3)
White-tailed Eagle (4) - back-added, 12th March
Common Crane (4).

Also added a lot of code 1 and few code 2, most back-added (seen earlier in the year but added just now). Is he adding birds later identified from photos or has big problems with his blog?
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