If such a thing is possible for me to do, today I took a break from big-year birding. Without any particular bird goal in mind, I just drove south of Anchorage to Girdwood and back. The highway between Anchorage and Girdwood goes along one side of Turnagain Arm with mountains on the other side of the road and mountains across the water. It is a beautiful place to drive.
Of course I was open to the appearance of a year-bird on this 2-hour drive, but I wasn’t chasing anything and I did not really have any particular birds in mind. I just went for a drive. I stopped along the way, took pictures and enjoyed it. The weather ranged from mid-20s to 40 degrees as I headed south, and it went from clear to partly cloudy to overcast to rainy and back to just cloudy.
On the way back the sun peaked through the clouds shortly before darkness surrounded me. On the drive, it did cross my mind that a few raptors that I am currently lacking for my big year could be possible on this route, but I did not find any of them, and that was okay.
The sum total of birds seen was 3 Bald Eagles and 2 Common Ravens. Sort of a small day for a big year, but as I said, it was okay. Of course, I’m pretty sure I’ll be out there looking for some new bird tomorrow.