We heard from Nate this month. That was a lovely surprise after not getting a list from him since May. Like a nervous mother hen, I worry for the beats and their well-being whilst they are away from home. And what do I get for my troubles? Do I get a phone call to say that they are still alive and eating properly? A postcard might be nice! All I get is the occasional list sent home like dirty laundry to be added to the pile. Actually I don’t mind, because one of the joys of compiling this list is that I get to vicariously share thousands of exciting birds. I had secretly hoped that the beats would find around 2000 birds for the Combined List over the year, but they smashed through that conservative milestone by the end of August and we had to revise our target to 2200.
Dang if they haven’t gone and done it again!
October brought 615 birds (141 of them new, due in large part to Nate in Colombia) from 54 lists compiled from; UK, USA, Ethiopia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Serbia, Greece, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong, pushing the running total to 2333 by October 31st.
Where to next? What have we missed? With 2 months left, will the beats be out anxiously trying to clean up the dips? Or will they be going for the big numbers in habitats as yet unlisted? Is (dare I say it?) 2500 feasible?
It is a dream, nay, a mission statement of 10,000 Birds to see as many of the World’s birds as possible. A Strickerian task for an individual, but the combined eyes and optics of beat writers around the globe might be able to make a fair fist of it.
Thus, a combined list of current beat writers will be compiled to see how many birds, weird and wonderful, common or unusual we can find between us. All birds are equal on this list; parking lot birds or pelagic species, breeders or fly-overs, all will be accorded the same status and each shall be worth 1 credit on the list. There may be a bit of backroom competition by the beats as only the first of the species will be noted on the list, but with a little delving, there is more information here than we first realised.
Unexpectedly, every entry can be highlighted as a link. So if you wish to check how many Mallards have been seen by the beats you can. Should the fancy take you, you could call up a 10,000 Birds life list (from 2016 onwards. Backdating has not been ruled out, but logistics make it unlikely) for a particular location or simply study the rest of the checklist from which the link was chosen.
This is not an exhaustive list as a few of the beats do not use compatible listing software, or have reservations about revealing sightings of sensitive birds. Others, by their own admission, are Luddites and believe that the pinnacle of human technological achievement was reached on the day that man first bound a notebook in moleskin. Still, the list will be as complete as we can keep it and will be updated on the first Saturday of every month.
The Management and beats at 10,000 Birds send a big hat tip and a collective thank you to eBird for their facility which allows us to easily register the beat sightings into a joint account.