The June Challenge was an idea formulated by Alachua’s Countys Becky Enneis back in 2004. The goal of the challenge was to get birders out and about in their home counties during what is arguably the worst month of the year for birding. It’s hot, it’s humid, it’s buggy, it rains all the time, all of the Winters birds have gone North, and all of the Spring migrants have already passed through.
So what is left to see!! There are the Summer breeding birds, the year round stuff and most importantly any lost or misguided birds. Historically little was known of what was here in the Summer so the accumulation of birding reports has really helped the scientists fill in some ornithological gaps. The Challenge has also turned into a friendly competition between both individuals in their respective counties and also between counties themselves. Teams are formed and an accumulated list is reported and the top producing county has bragging rights for a year!
I have participated in the June Challenge the last 3 years and have had totals of 68, 93 and 98 species photographed. Those who have followed my blog know I generally do not count a species unless I have recorded a picture of it and one of the rules in the June Challenge is that you do have to actually see the bird to count it. The American Birding Association allows birders to count a bird if they’ve heard it and this has always been a touchy subject to me. I’ve heard too many Mockingbirds and Blue Jays that sounded like other birds and I believe this rule makes for a better competition.
I started the challenge on my home turf at Green Cay Wetlands. On work days I don’t generally travel to far and I was confident I would get off to a good start at this fabulous location. I was able to get decent photographs of 26 species this morning which I think was a fine start to the month. Here are a few more shots from this morning.
Thank you so much for following my adventures!
I am currently writing an extensive trip report from when I went to Northern California in the Fall of 2011. This was before I started this blog and I will start posting it after I’ve completed at least a week or so of it. Lots of cool California birds and some awesome scenery as well!