What was yours?
For me, it's a tough choice--birding with Julie Zickefoose in March or birding with the Flock in Cape May. Both events were so pivotal in my development as a birder, in learning more about birds and fieldcraft and seeing lifers -- in addition to the outright WOW factor of meeting people like Zick and Birdchick, who were my first two birding heroes when I started this whole birding thing a few years ago. (For a long time, those were the only two birding blogs I visited!) Now, in Cape May I also met many of the people on my birdy blogroll, which really cranked that weekend up to amazing levels.
But I suppose I should choose.... or not! Screw it! I pick BOTH of those experiences! So there!
I really tried to choose, but I just can't! I loved Cape May and meeting the Flock in person, and I can't wait to go back there (in February for our anniversary!) and see the Flock again (and meet those honorary Flockers who didn't make it to Cape May!). Back in the spring, going to my first-ever birding festival and having what proved to be an all-out warblerama with Julie pretty much topped my year, even more than Cape May (but just a little!). There are so many reasons: everything about that weekend was just plain magical--from the beautiful drive to Titusville PA to the drive back home, from hanging out with Julie and seeing so many warblers in spring plumage to just seeing for the first time what it was really like to be out in the field with other people who were just as nuts as I am for birds. Maybe it's just that whole "never as good as the first time" thing, but that weekend was (again, just by a tiny bit!) my top birding experience of this year, following almost simultaneously by the Cape May Weekend.
Kept the cap ON this time!
I wonder what the new year will bring.
So everybody -- let's hear it: your top birding experience of the year!