Had a very early first of year (FOY) Brown Thrasher in the honeysuckle brush along the Indiana University cross country course! Earliest in the year I've ever seen one, by a long shot. BIGBY species #60 for 2010. Also had two other new BIGBY species for the year: Golden-crowned Kinglet (#59) and Eastern Towhee (#61).
This year I'm out to beat my record early date for 100 BIGBY species. My goal is to record 100 species before April 26. I've made a lot of progress, with 61 species in less than two weeks. But if my past history holds true, I'm about to enter a big drought that won't ease up until spring migration starts.
In an earlier posting I mentioned I was having a hard time choosing between Whooping Crane and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher as my 2009 BIGBY highlight of the year. After looking at my list I now have a third candidate: Ruffed Grouse. This is a rare bird in Indiana, with the remnants of the population hanging out in my neck of the woods (south central Indiana). This was a life bird for me, and I'll probably never see it again, especially since there has been heavy construction traffic (environmental remediation project) in the area where I saw it.
Maybe I should have a top five list for 2009 BIGBY highlights! :-)