The great thing about birding is that you rarely get bored, even if you don't leave your local area, there are always new discoveries waiting around every corner. Starting a new year is fun; and like many other birders, I start from scratch, each year, to challenge myself to see as many different species as possible. 2009 was no exception, though the rules for that years' challenge had one little difference-no motorized vehicle!
NMT stands for Non Motorized Transportation. I first heard about this on New Years Eve 2008 over a game of trivial pursuit. Guy Monty came up with this idea with his good friend, the late Dr. John Brighton. It’s amazing what you volunteer for after a few celebratory beers! The rules of the game are simple: you have to see, and or hear as many bird species as possible, and you can only have one home base from which you can start. You can be picked up by a vehicle if you, for example, decide on an extremely long ride. But, the second you set foot in that vehicle you cannot count anymore birds until you return and start again from your home base. Though I was rescued on a few occasions, the majority of my rides were all totally green; leaving home and returning by bike.
Species list: 92 / Distance travelled: 68 kilometres
My first few excursions were spent on foot until I gave in to the inevitable and got back in the saddle. At first I had to use Lori’s bike, as I did not have one of my own. It was the first time back on a bike for many years! The birding was fairly easy at first; as everything was new being January. Though I took no bird for granted. American Dipper, Ring-necked Duck, Cackling Goose, Evening Grosbeak and Townsend’s Solitaire were a few I was glad to add to my list right away.