To join Greg on one of these tours visit BigYearTours.com 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 5

The sharp-eyed Wildside leader, Steve Ritt, ready to go birding in a West Coast soaker of a storm
The sharp-eyed Wildside leader, Steve Ritt, ready to go birding in a West Coast soaker of a storm – photo by Greg Miller

 

Pacific Coast – Day 5 was rainy…all day long. Optimism is usually not so very high with tough conditions. But Steve Ritt and Chris Brown rose to the occasion. In fact today had the HIGHEST species count of any day on our tour so far–74 species!

And that’s not all! Not only did we have a higher species total, wait until you hear WHAT we saw. Just before lunch Steve Ritt was making one last stop before exiting the Hoquiam Sewage Treatment Ponds near Aberdeen. And then all bedlam broke loose. Steve called to me to come look through his telescope. And OH MY! Working with a group of dowitchers was one that was smaller, shorter-billed, and with a caramel color across its chest, a reddish crown, and a wide supercilium (eyebrow). WHOA! A Sharp-tailed Sandpiper!

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at Hoquiam Sewage Treatment Ponds near Aberdeen, WA on October 13, 2016
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at Hoquiam Sewage Treatment Ponds near Aberdeen, WA on October 13, 2016 – photo by Denny Lesko

 

This is a bird that normally nests in Siberia and migrates south to Australia. This bird is thousands of miles off course! Sometimes it’s a good thing to be birding in inclement weather.

But don’t stop there! Steve and Chris found a Pacific Golden-Plover at Bottle Beach State Park near Westport, WA today as well! Wow. What a day!

Trip total species is 121. Year total is now at 520!

One more full day of birding.

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