About the year 2019 challenge

During the year 2019 I will bicycle with electric motor assist and attempt to see SPONTANEOUSLY 200 bird species in Lahti region, Finland. (Päijät-Häme)


I’ve had the ”Big Year” previously in Lahti region in the year 2013. I droved 5 000 kilometres by bicycle, listed 221 species, 209 of the them spontaneously (including received information of migration and migrating individuals which I managed to see in another patch). The year was a huge endeavor.

Yearly, there are approximately 245 different bird species observed in this inland area. The Big Year Record of one person is 237. Check out the list of the easiest 200.

In the year 2019 I will take it easy, enjoy and concentrate birding during weekends and particularly during shuttling to work and back. Reaching 200 is a big challenge and needs active birding during May and September in particular. Reaching that number spontaneously is a matter of good luck – and it will NOT be a tremendous endeavor (I really hope so).

Why Spontaneously?

  1. First of all, nothing feels as good as finding birds yourself. No matter if the bird is a rarity or not, new species for the year is always nice find on your own route. When I look back twitching lifers in the past years, I really do not remember the situations very well. But I do reminisce all my own good observations and the joy of them instead.
  2. Timetable. Nowadays I don’t have time to go and twitch other birders findings. In the year 2013 when I listed eco-friendly ”Big Year”, I didn’t have a daughter and a dog. Our house situated in a better location to start an unexpected twitching trip.
  3. I always want to learn more about bird identification and more about migration / weather forecasts.

Why Bicycle?

  1. Nowadays I try to find the ecological way if possible. Too many birders are driving around with their cars without a decent plan.
  2. Bird sightings done by bike simply feel better! In your mind, the status of a ”hard to find bird” or even a regular species increases significantly.

My Filosofy

  1. Go out every day, but just a few hours. Be 100% sharp. Don’t tire yourself out.
  2. Challenge yourself. Find your birds in a small area. Don’t go too far. Once again, in your mind, the ”status” of the bird species increases a lot in a tightly restricted area.
  3. Don’t get fooled by bird alarms and eBirds (Tiira in Finland). The grass is not greener on the other side. Usually a reported ”fallout” or other ”bird rich area” seems a lot better in the web.
  4. Free your mind and the rest will follow. Write down what you want to achieve and the universe will do the rest. You will be led to certain circumstances sooner or later when you keep doing the things you like. Then you just have to jump at the chance.