Date: 1/6/21 6:37 pm From: therese haenni <0000000915e91be8-dmarc-request...> Subject: Daves Big Year Thank You
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I set out at the beginning of 2020 with the goal of reaching 300 species for the year in Missouri. I was able to obtain that goal and then some ending up with 326 for the year. In doing so I was able to prove that an average birder can accomplish this if he or she has 3 things; a full tank of gas, plenty of time and the help of a very generous birding community. I was fortunate enought to have all 3 of those ingredients come together last year and therefore feel the need to make some public thank yous to those who assisted me in my birding adventure in 2020. First and foremost I must thank my wife Therese who put up with my wanderings for a whole year, supporting me the whole time. Whenever I was debating to chase a bird on the other side of the state with limited chance of success her reply was always the same, " You're wsting time, just go !" Next I have to thank Jeff Blunt. We started birding together about the same time in the late 80's. Jeff did not have a chance to bird much with me this year as he is still gainfully employed whereas I am retired. Jeff is a much more patient birder than I and I tried to remember to keep that in mind this year. I was not always successful in that regard. Connie Alwood has been my birding Mentor for many years, whether he wanted to be or not! He was, and still is, my go to guy when I have a birding question. Early in the year Tommy Goodwin threw myself, David Becher, David Dean and Doug Hommert into a text group. This was a HUGE benefit for me as these gentleman were able to get me on birds all year long.It also helped that they are all very knowledgable, much better birders than myself, and alot of fun to be be with also. We were pretty much in touch everyday and I often times knew about new birds from these guys before it made it to ebird or MOBIRDS. I am now going to rattle off some names chronologically as I encountered them in 2020. In just about every instance I exchanged contact information with these people and they assisted me throughout the year. The year started 1/1 with Pat Lueders helping me find a Screech Owl. On that same day Bill Rowe had a Clay-colored sparrow at Riverlands which I tracked down a few days latter. Bill also helped me clear up the ID on a Common tern that I observed latter in the year. Tom Nagel helped me get both Crossbills at Ashland Cemetary and later in the year a Chestnut-collared Longspur. Ashland was the first time I ran into Steve and Debbie Martin who I ran into multiple times throughout the state last year and supplied encouragement and assistance whenever I requested it. It seems they are doing a Missouri Big Year every year and we went back and forth all year as far who was on top of the leader board. Kent Freeman was kind enough to let me stop by his house to view his White-Winged Dove. Lyndon Hostetler called and put me on a Vermillion Flycatcherwhen I arrived 3 hours latter. Lyndon is a member of the Menonite community North of Springfield. Lyndon, Ricky and Zane kept my phone ringing all year and were resposnsible for my Yellow Billed Loon and Lazuli Bunting and many others. I got the final tip on the Loon from Joe Mosley when he called me (after I got inpatient and started to wander) to let me know the Loon was back at the boat ramp. Mark Haas found my Surf Scooter and also kept in touch all year. Josh Uffmann gave me a call to let me know about the Ruff he found on Cora Island road making me (and lots of other birders) very happy.
Doug Willis put me on Yellow-headed Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle, Upland sandpiper and many more birds our west. If you want to get some good gulls at Smithville, this is the guy you want to go with. In May I showed up at Grindstone to try for the Swainsons. I ran into Paul McKenzie. Good move on my part. He found the Warbler in short order then offered to squire me around the rest of the day along with Peter Monacell and they both found me quite a few year birds that day. Paul also met me at dawn later in the month to help me get my Western Sandpiper. Both these gentleman freely shared therir knowledge and advice whenever I reached out to them. Kendall Lloyd gave me directions to help me track down my Painted Bunting and kept me in the loop on anything in SE Missouri. Kendall also gave me a call about the Brown Booby and got me on a boat with him to go see it. Jerry Hemmesmeyer got me on a Red Knot at BK Leach, a great bird! Mark Robbins, whose Breeding Atlas on the birds of Missouri I used extensively last year, advised me on birding areas in Northwest Missouri which led to my Spragues Pipt at Rosecrans Airport.. A trip in november found me at Sarah Drivers house viewing her Anna's Hummingbird. Later that day I had my Selaphorus hummer at Jay McEntees home. Kristi Mayo narrowed down my search area at Smithville Lake during my second shot at the Barrows Goldeneye. Earlier that day Austin Lambert opened his yard to me so I could view his visiting Common Redpoll. Here is a tip on getting your ebird sighting confirmed. Be standing next to the ebird reviewer when you see it. That is what happened when Mary Nemecek pointed out a Pacific Loon to Doug Hommert and myself. Mary was also at Smithville when Pete Monacell and Paul Mckenzie pointed out a California Gull to me. I would not have had the confidence to make the call on that bird by myself. I was very glad that Peter, Paul and Mary ( the birders, not the folk group) were there. Peter Kondroshov directed me to North Sever Lake where, after an ordeal with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere in the dead of night, I was able to hear my Northern Saw-whet Owl. Others whom offered tips and encouragement all year were Christy McClaren and Andrew Reago, Greg Swick, Edge Wade, Tim Barksdale,Natalie Rekittke,Lisa Berger, Lisa Owens,Lisa Saffel, Zach Harig, Christian and Conway Hahn, Bruce Schutte, Cris Barrigar and Tim Kavan. I would be remiss withour mentining Brad Jacobs who passed away in 2020. I started contacting Brad in 2019 when I was just starting to think ablout a big year and he was, as expected, very helpful and encouraging. When I noticed he was not posting as often on ebird I offered to get him out birding on the off chance he was having problems getting around. He politely declined the offer simply saying he had some health issues he needed to work out. His name came up quite abit last year, no one had an unkind word to say about Brad, I regret I never got that chance to bird with him. So I need to apologize to anyone whose name I left off, and I know there were a few. Thanks agian to everyone for their help, could not have done it without you! And I must also thank the birds, they really came through for me last year, especially November and December, when I was able to keep adding to my list almost to the very last day. This past year was of course not a great year for a lot of people in a lot of ways. Hopefully 2021 will be better in that regard
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