Susan's Site...

A life without birds
is like a day without sunshine!

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2025 Planning

Follow along as Jim and I plan for our Big Canada year in 2025 when Canada's most enthusiastic birding tourists will hit the trails in search of birds, wildlife and all of the other cool stuff that Canada has to offer.

I will post my blogs at random times, so if you'd like to get an email notice when there's a new one sign up on my contact page (click here).

Happy New Year

January 11, 2024

I hope that 2024 brings all of you good health, happiness and many great birds!

Jim and I have been travelling a bit in Ontario since January 1 and I already have a year list of 63 species which I am happy with. After slacking off a bit last year, I wanted to start getting out more this year to hone my skills in preparation for our Big Canada Year in 2025. We started the year in Point Pelee where we ran into one of my favourite birding friends (yes, that’s you Jeremy!) and together we found the Townsend’s Solitaire that has been hanging around in the park. From there, we all went to Erieau and found a Harlequin Duck and then we topped off the day with a Black-billed Magpie in London. A good start to the year!
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Since then we have been to Algonquin Park where I saw and heard many Red Crossbills which was a nice treat as they have always been a tough bird for me to get. On our way home from Algonquin, we saw a Barred Owl on a wire along the highway, we added a Barrow’s Goldeneye to our list, a Dickcissel, a King Eider and four more Harlequin Ducks.
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I haven’t set any specific goals for 2024 other than to get out more and work on some identification skills (both sight and sound). I also have to start learning the rest of the Canadian birds that don’t reside in Ontario.

We have started planning in earnest for our Big Year. I have created a spreadsheet listing all of the Canada Birds and am now trying to develop a plan that will take us to all of the Canadian provinces and territories in 2025 and will allow us to find as many species of birds as possible. Not an easy task! Jim has created a binder with tabs for all of the provinces with a map of each province at the beginning of each section.

We have a Canada map where we are highlighting the birding hotspots as well as some of the other attractions that we want to visit along the way. We are hoping that this will help us to form our strategy. It is still undecided how much we will be travelling by air versus vehicle. Anything is up for discussion at this point!
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Stay tuned for more stories about how we planning our big year and also watch for the new logo for Canada’s most enthusiastic Birding Tourists! If you would like to be notified of future blog posts, please sign up for email notices on my Contact Page or Click Here.


2023 - Catching Up

October 19, 2023

Hi Everyone,

This is my first blog post since December 31, 2022 when I completed my Ontario Big Birding Year. In 2022 I travelled all over Ontario with a goal of seeing and photographing 300 birds. In the end, I recorded 335 birds with 332 of them having photographs (although not necessarily good photographs!).

During the first six months of 2023, I did very little birding in Ontario. I spent a lot of time catching up on things I had neglected during 2022 and also we hosted our first grandchild’s first birthday party in July so we used this as an excuse to freshen up a lot of things around the house.

We did go to Costa Rica in February and Texas in April where I was able to add a lot of birds to my life list. See my website for photos.

On October 6, I did my first of 3 presentations about my Big Year which was a lot of fun. I was happy to have my blog and photos to assist me in putting the talk together and helping me remember a lot of the experiences; the challenges and rewards, that were a part of 2022.

One of the questions I always get asked by people is if I would do another Big Year. The answer is Yes but not in Ontario. My husband Jim and I are going to do a Canada Big Year in 2025 which for us means travelling to every province and every territory to see as much of Canada as possible, experience some of the things that Canada has to offer and, of course, see as many birds as we can.

If you would like to follow the adventures of Canada’s most enthusiastic Birding Tourists, please sign up for email notices on my Contact page.