Saturday, 7 April 2012

Northern Trip by the numbers

I'm not back home in the south, so I figured I should put out a final wrap post about my whirlwind northern trip. Here are some numbers from the trip:

100: Total number of new "county ticks" I added. (For those who don't know, a county tick is a new bird seen in a county. For instance, I saw 27 new birds for my Thunder Bay District list on the trip, 2 new birds for my Haliburton County list, etc. I'm now up to 3243 county ticks for Ontario. Divided up by the 50 counties, that is an average of 65 species per county.)

72: total hours away

31: total hours spent driving

2828: Total km driven

50: Number of times I questioned my sanity for doing this trip

1: Times I was pulled over for going 91 km/h in a 60 km/h zone

1: Times I was let off and not given a ticket for going 91 in a 60

3: Number of moose/truck collisions I saw near Marathon

1: Number of moose I saw standing on the shoulder of the road during the night

3: Number of year birds I saw

155.9: The highest price of gas (per litre) I saw up north

So there you have it. The drive home was fairly uneventful - a few birds here and there, but nothing really notable. I didn't really stop to go birding, as I was eager to get home! From a big year perspective, the trip was a definite success. While it was a lot of driving for only a few new species it was a trip that I needed to do or risk not seeing those species for the year (Boreal Owl in particular). I saw the main 3 species that I was going for, and the 2 misses (Western Meadowlark and Sharp-tailed Grouse) I will see when I go up to Rainy River later on in the spring. Logistically the trip worked out great as my car had absolutely no problems, I had no collisions with moose, and I had no huge unexpected expenses. Michael and Martha were extremely helpful in Marathon and I really appreciated having a place to stay.

For the next little bit I won't get out a whole lot as I have 3 exams in the next 10 days. After that, all hell will break loose :)


  1. Should be fun up at Rainy River. Last time I was there we came across quite a few Sharp-tailed Grouse just by chance. A good road for many things was #619 north of Pinewood. It was busy though.
    "Ticks" are out at Rondeau. LOL!!

  2. You ready for Pelee????

    Game for a few days on the island?

  3. Josh,

    You will be pleased to know that I still need Boreal Owl for Thunder Bay District --- and I almost never get new ones!

  4. Thanks for the suggestion Blake. I'm getting excited - Western Meadowlark, magpie, Yellow Rail, Le Conte's, and the grouse would all be new Ontario birds for me.

    I think you may have one or two birds on your Thunder Bay District list that I don't!