Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Final thoughts from Phil

Brian has posted excellent summaries of Fur and Feathers 500, and there is not much more to be said about our great adventure. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t add my own thanks to those who made it possible.

First, to the many birders across the country who gave willingly of their time to help us find regional specialties. Your companionship made for an extra dimension to the year which was unexpected and highly appreciated. One moment among many stands out: Anne Hughes perching precariously on the cliff top at Cape St. Mary to find us Thick-billed Murres among the many seabirds nesting on the cliffs, and the fog lifting just in time.
Secondly, to my fellow fur and featherers, Brian, Mike and Ray. Most Big Years are conceived as solo efforts. Ours was different, a team event, which made for a year which was full of fun, both the long hours in the field and the brief periods of relaxation. Eating chocolate-coated almonds to celebrate a success, mid-afternoon ice cream cones as a pick-me up, and tasting local beers from across the country became important rituals for our tribe. We ended the year having enriched our friendship, with absolutely no friction along the way – remarkable!

To the readers of this blog, your interest was a great source of inspiration. Writing the blog was not always the first thing we wanted to work on late in the evening, but the discipline of keeping our readers up-to-date meant that we documented our journey as we went along and provided us with a valuable record. It was also a great showcase for many of Brian and Ray’s wonderful photos, and one of mine, which I never stopped talking about!
Finally, to my wife Rae and our family, my heartfelt thanks for your love and support for my participation in Fur and Feathers 500. It was a very eventful year for our family, and I will never forget your generosity in allowing me to head off on all those trips, sometimes at very difficult times.

A Happy New Year to everyone: I hope you will be able to realize your own dreams.


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