Off To Atlanta

Tomorrow morning I am off to the big birding trade show Bird Watch America in Atlanta. I can't believe that it was only a year ago when I met my peeps, Amy of WildBird Magazine, BT3 of Bird Watcher's Digest and Jeff Bouton of Leica at BWA. I feel as though I have known them all my life. That was when I also met Jason of Vortex Optics (pictured in last year's booth at BWA, left) and first saw the Vortex DLS and binos and planned on getting a pair for myself. I remember looking at Jason and Jeff and thinking, "Boy, I wish I had that hip life style of an optics rep." And now I do--how weird and unexpected...and cool!

For those that don't check Bill of the Birds blog, he and Jeff got a big sit going on an airplane after the Rio Grande Fest. So of course Jeff has thrown down the gauntlet for another big sit for all of our flights to Atlanta:

I'll challenge y'all to a plane big sit, but alas I only have one leg and will leave before first light on Fri, meaning I only have Atlanta Hartsfield for my total, so will concede top honors this time round. I have to assume Amy will have more legs on her journey and best opportunities..... or are you planning to drive with the top down? The rules are the best total species count viewed from the plane window, from door to door, on any single leg of your journey. Door to door refers to from "cell phones off... door is closed" to seat belt light goes off at arrival gate. This has traditionally been a naked eye only competition so sorry no bins allowed.

Me craning around the airplane window won't make me seem like a weirdo to my fellow passengers. I just hope I will be able to get my daily raptor. I should since there are four snowy owls, a pair of bald eagles, a male kestrel and a peregrine all hanging out at the airport right now. The hard part of meeting my daily goal will be during the convention itself. I shall have to make lunch plans outside of the convention if I have any hope of riding around and finding raptors for my daily goal.

I'm off to pack, hopefully I will have some fun reporting on the latest and greatest to be seen and experienced in the world of birding...or at least some interesting gossip.

Wednesday's Raptor: red-tailed hawk on 394 and 169. It has suddenly occurred to me that I have not seen a Cooper's hawk all year! I'm fairly certain I have seen a red-tail every day so far, but I am disappointed in the general lack of accipiters. I just love accipiters, they are hands down my favorite type of hawk--why have they forsaken me????