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San Diego County Big Year 2020


Mel Senac
 

On behalf of my fellow San Diego birders,  I want to congratulate Nancy Christensen on her S.D. County Big Year. Nancy had an incredible 393 “clean, countable”  species for the year and if you throw in a few of our common “non-countable’s” such as Red-masked Parakeet, Lilac-crowned Parrot , Black-throated Magpie-Jay etc. she had 399. This broke the longstanding record of 388 held by Barbara Carlson for many years.

 

This is an amazing number when you consider 2020  was the year of Covid-19 and lockdowns. Furthermore, Nancy was President of San Diego Field Ornithologist and put in hours of time. Along the way she was dealing with a bad back and her Father’s failing health. Despite her quest, she was always the first person to get someone on a bird who had just arrived,  was struggling to get on the bird  or giving precise directions on how to find a specific bird through the list serv or via her phone. She is far too humble to admit any of this.

 

I can attest, as her birding pal, that Nancy did not set out to do a Big Year. Not in this crazy 2020. It was not until October when her husband Russ and myself independently told her that her numbers were on a record-breaking pace.  She finally took notice. Then through hard work, perseverance and San Diego County being blessed with many good birds she was able to accomplish this remarkable achievement. I know I speak for several birders in San Diego and Southern California - well done Nancy!

 

Mel Senac

San Diego

 

 


Barbara Wise
 

Well said, Mel!  CONGRATULATIONS, Nancy!  Well deserved!  I always knew I would find the bird if Nancy, the Queen, was at the stakeout when I got there.

Barbara Wise
San Diego


-----Original Message-----
From: Mel Senac <msenac@...>
To: SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io
Sent: Thu, Dec 31, 2020 8:57 am
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] San Diego County Big Year 2020

On behalf of my fellow San Diego birders,  I want to congratulate Nancy Christensen on her S.D. County Big Year. Nancy had an incredible 393 “clean, countable”  species for the year and if you throw in a few of our common “non-countable’s” such as Red-masked Parakeet, Lilac-crowned Parrot , Black-throated Magpie-Jay etc. she had 399. This broke the longstanding record of 388 held by Barbara Carlson for many years.
 
This is an amazing number when you consider 2020  was the year of Covid-19 and lockdowns. Furthermore, Nancy was President of San Diego Field Ornithologist and put in hours of time. Along the way she was dealing with a bad back and her Father’s failing health. Despite her quest, she was always the first person to get someone on a bird who had just arrived,  was struggling to get on the bird  or giving precise directions on how to find a specific bird through the list serv or via her phone. She is far too humble to admit any of this.
 
I can attest, as her birding pal, that Nancy did not set out to do a Big Year. Not in this crazy 2020. It was not until October when her husband Russ and myself independently told her that her numbers were on a record-breaking pace.  She finally took notice. Then through hard work, perseverance and San Diego County being blessed with many good birds she was able to accomplish this remarkable achievement. I know I speak for several birders in San Diego and Southern California - well done Nancy!
 
Mel Senac
San Diego
 
 


Nancy Christensen
 

Oh my gosh, such beautiful words! 
Truly a crazy year. I had two out of town visitors I did Big Days with in January and February. I did not chase anything all spring, and seldom left “the hill” until summer. As many of you know, my father has had cancer the entire year and my focus was not on birding. I have had to stay unexposed so that I could have access to help him, so I passed up several opportunities for birds because I was not comfortable with the situation. I never went near my father without a minimum of 14 days of zero exposure, not even for groceries. Fortunately, I live in the back country and felt comfortable birding out here alone.
When Mel and Russ commented on my numbers in late October, I had multiple resident birds I had not seen this year. A few wild card birds such as Sandhill Cranes and Tundra Swans are what it took to put the total way up.

Many thanks to the entire birding community. This is not my accomplishment so much as the total accomplishment of everybody. Many special thanks to so many people who helped me out, Gary, Mel, Barbara, Paul, Dan. I often had no urge to go look, but my cheerleaders kept me going!


On Dec 31, 2020, at 8:57 AM, Mel Senac <msenac@...> wrote:

On behalf of my fellow San Diego birders,  I want to congratulate Nancy Christensen on her S.D. County Big Year. Nancy had an incredible 393 “clean, countable”  species for the year and if you throw in a few of our common “non-countable’s” such as Red-masked Parakeet, Lilac-crowned Parrot , Black-throated Magpie-Jay etc. she had 399. This broke the longstanding record of 388 held by Barbara Carlson for many years.

 

This is an amazing number when you consider 2020  was the year of Covid-19 and lockdowns. Furthermore, Nancy was President of San Diego Field Ornithologist and put in hours of time. Along the way she was dealing with a bad back and her Father’s failing health. Despite her quest, she was always the first person to get someone on a bird who had just arrived,  was struggling to get on the bird  or giving precise directions on how to find a specific bird through the list serv or via her phone. She is far too humble to admit any of this.

 

I can attest, as her birding pal, that Nancy did not set out to do a Big Year. Not in this crazy 2020. It was not until October when her husband Russ and myself independently told her that her numbers were on a record-breaking pace.  She finally took notice. Then through hard work, perseverance and San Diego County being blessed with many good birds she was able to accomplish this remarkable achievement. I know I speak for several birders in San Diego and Southern California - well done Nancy!

 

Mel Senac

San Diego

 

 


Alison Hiers
 

Congratulations Nancy!!  Thanks as always for your help in the field.  And Congrats to you too Mel and Barbara Wise, and Alison Davies and Dan Jehl and the others who were out diligently birding and helping the rest of us along the way.  Hopefully we'll cross paths in 2021 and see some wonderful birds together.

Alison Hiers

On Dec 31, 2020, at 8:57 AM, Mel Senac <msenac@...> wrote:

On behalf of my fellow San Diego birders,  I want to congratulate Nancy Christensen on her S.D. County Big Year. Nancy had an incredible 393 “clean, countable”  species for the year and if you throw in a few of our common “non-countable’s” such as Red-masked Parakeet, Lilac-crowned Parrot , Black-throated Magpie-Jay etc. she had 399. This broke the longstanding record of 388 held by Barbara Carlson for many years.
 
This is an amazing number when you consider 2020  was the year of Covid-19 and lockdowns. Furthermore, Nancy was President of San Diego Field Ornithologist and put in hours of time. Along the way she was dealing with a bad back and her Father’s failing health. Despite her quest, she was always the first person to get someone on a bird who had just arrived,  was struggling to get on the bird  or giving precise directions on how to find a specific bird through the list serv or via her phone. She is far too humble to admit any of this. 
 
I can attest, as her birding pal, that Nancy did not set out to do a Big Year. Not in this crazy 2020. It was not until October when her husband Russ and myself independently told her that her numbers were on a record-breaking pace.  She finally took notice. Then through hard work, perseverance and San Diego County being blessed with many good birds she was able to accomplish this remarkable achievement. I know I speak for several birders in San Diego and Southern California - well done Nancy!
 
Mel Senac 
San Diego
 
 


Barbara
 

Hear, hear, Nancy! We are so proud and pleased with your accomplishment! You raised the bar by an incredible five more birds!

With this record number of 393 species, you not only have the new record for San Diego County but also for any ABA area county. It is doubtful 
that birders in any other county can touch what you've achieved here in San Diego. We have pelagics, coastal ornamental areas & parks, coastal 
scrub, mountains, and deserts. And there's a bunch of "bird dogs" who are out there day after day for the sheer joy and challenge of birding and 
of finding those rarities.

Cheers and Happy New Year everyone!

Barbara Carlson
San Diego



On Thursday, December 31, 2020, 08:57:26 AM PST, Mel Senac <msenac@...> wrote:


On behalf of my fellow San Diego birders,  I want to congratulate Nancy Christensen on her S.D. County Big Year. Nancy had an incredible 393 “clean, countable”  species for the year and if you throw in a few of our common “non-countable’s” such as Red-masked Parakeet, Lilac-crowned Parrot , Black-throated Magpie-Jay etc. she had 399. This broke the longstanding record of 388 held by Barbara Carlson for many years.

 

This is an amazing number when you consider 2020  was the year of Covid-19 and lockdowns. Furthermore, Nancy was President of San Diego Field Ornithologist and put in hours of time. Along the way she was dealing with a bad back and her Father’s failing health. Despite her quest, she was always the first person to get someone on a bird who had just arrived,  was struggling to get on the bird  or giving precise directions on how to find a specific bird through the list serv or via her phone. She is far too humble to admit any of this.

 

I can attest, as her birding pal, that Nancy did not set out to do a Big Year. Not in this crazy 2020. It was not until October when her husband Russ and myself independently told her that her numbers were on a record-breaking pace.  She finally took notice. Then through hard work, perseverance and San Diego County being blessed with many good birds she was able to accomplish this remarkable achievement. I know I speak for several birders in San Diego and Southern California - well done Nancy!

 

Mel Senac

San Diego