The Sunday Nature Call, Uke 53: Fuzzy Math
Yes, Virginia, there is a Week 53. If you allow yourself to use your imagination, then you can invent all manner of things.
One of the “things” I like in Norway is the use of organizing the year by weeks. In Norway, the week begins on Monday. For examples, in 2015, Week (Uke) 1 began on Monday, 5 January; we arrived to Oslo on the first day of Week 32, Monday, 3 August. That pattern through the year means that the week of Monday, 28 December is Week 53. It seems like every organization uses the week numbering system to organize their calendars, there is little need for fretting about calendars dates. Neat!
Pilfink (Passer montanus)
I had a “Big Year” in 2015. I endeavored to be more exacting in recording my new bird observations in America, a habit I then brought to Norway, with great success and pleasure. One of my heroes is Aldo Leopold. I will never be able to hold a candle to his remarkable notetaking and documented wild observations, but I’m going to do my best.
Do I have a favorite bird sighting of the year? No, the most memorable sightings were important for different reasons and to priviledge one would also be to favor the company in which I saw the bird in question.
My noteworthy sightings in America were (in chronological order):
- Grus canadensis canadensis
- Tympanuchus cupido
- Grus americana
Norway has been generous to this lazy birder. I haven’t tried too hard to see birds, it’s been mostly catch-as-catch-can. My spreadsheet has 39 entries for Weeks 32-53. Maybe it should be 42? I had one bird misidentified and two lines for birds that I just could not make a totally positive call. Shucks.
I am confident I would have had at least 50% more if I would have been more dedicated to birding the mountains than running them. Oh well, my conscience is clean.
Because I favor certain types of birds, many species have escaped my count because I’m just not looking for what Is likely close by in plain sight. Sparrows, finches, most of the song birds…I don’t put any effort into finding them; the same goes for most marine birds like Gulls.
I know my way around the Oslo area so much better now than autumn. Come the spring migration, I will do a better job about preparing for likely migrants in likely locations – at least I can’t do worse.
There are some birds I would really like to see and a couple to see again. My wish list includes:
- Polysticta stelleri
- Tetrao urogallus
- Somateria spectabilis
- Fratercula artica
For 2016 I have high hopes and low expectations, It is going to be a great year. I think if I saw my four wish list birds then that would be a bigger score than the 39 I have claimed in Norway. How can 4 > 39? Fuzzy math.
Looking up, looking ahead, and keeping my pencil sharp.