Today I took part in an epic and time honored olympic event. It is a version of the biathalon, but instead of Nordic skiing and shooting, its nordic skiing and birding. The challenge is to steady one's breath and binoculars in between skiing sections and I.D. birds as they appear. In the case of spills, ahem, which don't happen for me very often, the swarovski functional bag is handy to have on your nocker strap. Today I took gold by completing the course in just under an hour and identifying a new year-yardbird BELTED KINGFISHER (rarely seen in winter at this venue, but every now and then will cruise by in summer), as well as other notables like Hairy Woodpecker, Horned Larks, White-throated Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Carolina Wren, and the lovely Red-shouldered Hawk. I admit I did fall when the Kingfisher rattled past, but thats ok, I still got up and had a good look as he perched by the stream. Here is a fall re-enactment. Actually, I was attempting to rush into place for the self timer to go off, but kind of missed my mark. Kind of funny the camera caught my slippage.
2013 and beyond
It's pretty simple: the most birds seen or heard from one's yard during 2013 will be the "winner". Want in? O.k....then do it despite that.
2013 promises to be a lot less mean but still a carbon-free birding competition, even if slightly less exciting than a MEGA x EPIC hybrid.