I have begun having birding stress dreams. This is clearly either a signal that I need to get on my way and stop worrying about the details or that this entire adventure is doomed from the start and I’m going to either ruin what minuscule reputation I have or be kidnapped immediately or both. I am at least somewhat prepared on the kidnapping front, having spent an exorbitant amount of money on a knife, pepper spray, a first aid kit with a rape whistle, and other miscellaneous camping/safety supplies yesterday. Parents and stories about camping alone do not typically mix in my family, but at least I am prepared for anything. I will be embarking tomorrow on a 21 day road trip from eastern Pennsylvania down to the southern tip of the Everglades in Florida. I will be birding my way down through the eastern shore of Maryland, visiting family and friends in Virginia, and attending the Virginia Society of Ornithology’s fall trip to Virginia Beach. Once I’m in Florida, I will be camping my way around the peninsula, visiting as many birding hotspots as I can manage in a two week period and spending the majority of my time in the Everglades. I’m flying solo on this particular adventure and will be adding a whopping 3,700 miles to my little Honda Fit. I will be creating a goal-bird list and a sightings list in the near future to keep my multitudes of readers up to date on what I’m seeing (and by multitudes I mean my mother is probably the only one reading this).
Anyway, back to the riveting world of my unconscious, last night’s dream involved Keekeekerr-ing a Western Tanager as a Cape May Warbler (using the incorrect alpha code, of course) and having eBird reject my sighting anyway because it actually turned out to be a Honeycreeper. Apparently dream-Casey is not creative enough to come up with 1. birds that I will actually see on this trip and 2. events that did not recently occur in real life (i.e. the WETA still hanging around Cape May and the Red-Legged Honeycreeper spotted in Texas over the last couple of days). Despite my subconscious subterfuge, I am more excited than ever to get going tomorrow and I will be writing as often as I have internet access to keep you all in the know.