To join Greg on one of these tours visit or call 888-875-9453

In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA, while trying to hold down a full-time job, aspiring to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year. "The Big Year," a novel by Mark Obmascik detailed his travails alongside two competitors. The book was later turned into a movie of the same title that starred Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson!

Pacific Northwest – Day 1

Puget Sound from Edmonds WA
Puget Sound from Edmonds WA – photo by Greg Miller


Everyone arrived in Seattle by mid-afternoon. Most of the group got to bird at Kent Ponds before the last participants arrived. Birding there was a little slow but we still added one new bird for the year–a calling Fox Sparrow. And, of course, it’s always fun for an Ohio birder like me to see “red-shafted” flickers and Steller’s Jays.

Once we had everyone we headed about an hour north of Seattle to the little town of Edmonds to follow up on a couple reports last week of Ancient Murrelets. Unfortunately the Ancient Murrelets were uncooperative. Mew Gull was a new addition for the Big Year Tours. There were a number of pretty cool birds there even though we’d seen them before. In addition to the Mew Gull, other gulls included Heermann’s, Ring-billed, California, Glaucous-winged, and even a few hybrid Glaucous-winged x Western Gulls. A Pigeon Guillemot, some Common Murres, a Rhinoceros Auklet, and a few Marbled Murrelets rounded out the list of alcids. Pretty decent for an hour looking out over the water in the evening.

Our total now stands at 508 species for the year. Check out the species totals below for a list of everything we’ve seen so far. Tomorrow will be a fun day as we work our way toward the Olympic Peninsula.

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