Great to see some of these old guys moving up in the standings! Thinking of a
big year myself when/if I retire. Will keep my clothes on. Could there be a
better way of adding to the notion that birders are a deviant group? Oy!
Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 20, 2016, at 10:35 AM, Morton Massey <massey6932@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I saw Richard Blanton’s post this morning and thought I would share a little
more information about what is going on with ABA Big Years this year. As the
blog post states, it looks like there will be 4 individuals who will make it
over 700 this year. But two of the individuals will easily exceed 750 and
probably will end up around 775. What most folks don’t know about the
current leader, John Weigel, is he is from Australia. He started birding in
the US on January 1 and plans on birding till December 31st this year without
taking a break. An incredible commitment. He did back to back Big Years in
Australia in 2013 and 2014 and broke the Australian record both years. John
is 61 and an incredibly nice humble guy.
Olaf Danielson (currently at 748) has done a US Big Year but it was a “Birds
seen Naked Big Year”. Yes, this is true. Amongst other places he went to
Attu that year and all the participants had to endure him birding naked. Not
sure what his total was but I heard he set a record.
The other two birders, Christian Hagenlocher and Laura Keene set out to just
make it to 700, which it appears they will do.
I had the pleasure of being one of the 11 birders who got to go to Attu this
year. John, Christian and Laura were on that trip along with the current
record holder Neil Haywood and Brandon Reo who had over 700 ABA birds doing a
Big Year last year. Rather intimidating to be with 5 birders who will have
seen 700 ABA birds in one year while it took me 45 years. But oh what a
great experience to be with so many fascinating and dedicated birders. Oh,
and I got to meet Olaf briefly at the Adak airport. He was arriving to go on
a 3 day pelagic as we were leaving. He did have his clothes on fortunately.