2023 is my iNat big year

I think I'm going to go for it -- 2023 is my iNat big year. I'm going to try to post personal bests in the basic categories: most observations in a year, most species (=unique taxa), most new species, most identifications, and at least one observation every day. New species is going to be the most difficult personal record I think, although I'll probably focus on that and then fumble my streak or something. Here are my personal bests:

Most observations (2017) = 3560 (Goal = 3600 obs)
Most species (2017) = >1764 (Goal = 1800 sp)
Most new species (2017) = >1130 (Goal = 1200 newly added sp)
Most identifications (2012) = 775 obs/339 taxa/292 observers (Goal = 800 IDs)
Observation per day = never attempted (Goal = 365 day streak)

It will be hard to beat my 2017, which included SE Arizona iNat-athon, a work trip to Indonesia, a dragonfly society meeting in Virginia Appalachia, and vacations in Tennessee and elsewhere. But, the attempt should be fun. I will update this journal post as I go.


January recap: A good start with daily observations around my Anchorage Alaska home and commute, and a trip to Morro Bay, California, scheduled to coincide with their lowest tides of the year. An otter with a live rainbow trout was neat to see and you can watch a couple videos of the otter dealing with it flopping around, eating just the head, and then slipping away with it again under the ice. In CA, nudibranchs of the Central Coast were a big draw for me in the intertidal, and I was thrilled to see 12 species (pictured above) along with many other animals, plants and fungi on the trip. Some of the other new-to-me taxa included a seaside button lichen, a pencil isopod, and a cinnamon teal. Thank you to @anudibranchmom @thomaseverest @jeffgoddard @tomleeturner and many others for the dialogue, comments and identifications that helped make my CA iNat'ing better. January recommendation where to stay: the "Bird House" in Los Osos CA (VRBO link). Where to eat: Valley Liquor in Los Osos for quick breakfast burritos & burgers. Monthly total = 620 observations.


February recap: last month, I traveled to California and this month I traveled even further south to western Mexico state of Jalisco and the coastal city of Puerto Vallarta. Amongst other family vacation activities, I snorkeled a bunch, including at PN Islas Marietas and a couple beaches south of the city, and fit in an entire day in the mountains with my wife dedicated to birding in the San Sebastián del Oeste area. It was glorious and particularly fun to watch my 9-year-old son get into snorkeling and get excited with me finding fish and other marine life to observe, including 7 species of pufferfish and relatives, a couple stingrays, and many yet-to-be-identified sedentary species. I added 20+ lifer birds, including brown boobies, new-to-me warblers, and the second smallest bird species on Earth, the bumblebee hummingbird. Ostensibly on a birding day tour on 24-Feb, I observed far more insects and plants, including an abundance of wasps, butterflies and bromeliads. A big thank you to @albertoalcala @aleturkmen @sultana @oscargsol and many others helping to review and identify MX-JAL observations. Finally, back home in Alaska, I got my first videos back from a backyard camera trap, adding screengrabs to the 30+ moose observations I’ve already made in 2023. Recommendations of iNat-related activities as a tourist in Puerto Vallarta: comb through the interesting shells at Playa Lindomar, take an early morning walk to el salto waterfall if staying downtown, and book a nature trip in the ocean or forest with Luis @kiskadee, who is the executive director of the San Pancho Bird Observatory. Where to eat: seafood at Abulón Antojeria del Mar. Monthly total = 500 observations. Cumulative = 1120 observation (31% to goal), 562 taxa (31% to goal).

Posted on 07 de febrero de 2023 by muir muir


If it helps you commit, I think you should go for it too!

Publicado por guyfoulks hace alrededor de 1 mes (Marca)

Go for it, Matt! I also think we should have a (virtual) party whenever you reach key milestones along the way toward your quest - say, each 1000 observations, each 250 new species, etc. I'll bring the (virtual) pizza!

Publicado por naturelady hace alrededor de 1 mes (Marca)

Exciting!! Good luck!

Publicado por awenninger hace alrededor de 1 mes (Marca)

Good luck! 🍀

Publicado por kitemongoose hace alrededor de 1 mes (Marca)

Sounds like fun! I wanna follow your updates also.

Publicado por onekoolkid0 hace alrededor de 1 mes (Marca)

Ha, thanks all for the encouragement -- I think that will help me stick with it! January update: 620 obs (above target), 336 species (above target), 93 newly added species (below target.... but I think actually on target if you account for the time lag in IDs), 12 identifications (below target), 31 out of 31 observation days (streak intact!). Photo update above.

I created a spreadsheet to track my actual vs targets. Basically, to hit my benchmarks, per month, I need to add 300 observations, 150 species not observed previously in year, 100 species not observed previously by me ever (this will be the most difficult one!), and 67 identifications.

Publicado por muir hace alrededor de 1 mes (Marca)

Sounds like you need more road trips!

Publicado por anudibranchmom hace alrededor de 1 mes (Marca)

February update posted above. So far, I am on track! In Feb: 500 observations (above target for month; cumulatively, 31% of year-end goal), 248 taxa (above target for month; cumulatively, 31% of year-end goal), 155 new taxa (above target for month; cumulatively, 20% of year-end goal), 583 identifications (above target for month; cumulatively, 74% of year-end goal), and the streak is intact at 59 days from January 1, 2023.

Publicado por muir hace 19 días (Marca)

Love hearing about these big year goals!!! Come on down to Texas!!!! :)

Publicado por sambiology hace 6 días (Marca)

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