Saturday, February 12, 2011

The 600 Club closure act

Last thursday, during the Panama Audubon Society monthly meeting, I conducted the closure act of The 600 Club. The meeting was crowded, there were snacks and beverages, a little shop with books for sale and an exciting feeling in the air, probably in part because I was not the only speaker... in fact, the main attraction of the night was the presentation of the new Bird Field Guide for Panama by its author George Angehr, and Karl Kaufmann also talked about e-bird Panama. I gave an introduction about the origins and aims of the club, and about last year's participants. The first to get his certificate was one of the original members, George Angehr, who did not only receive his certificate, but also the club's patch, featuring a Black-crowned Antpitta (first photo). One by one, each participant received his certificate and his patch, while I was revealing their final counts. Most of the participants passed the 600 mark, with Euclides "Kilo" Campos and Ken Allaire passing the 700 mark (and Ken recording exactly 800 birds for the year!!!!). Those numbers are probably out of reach for most of us, but are anyway impressive even if you work as a specialized bird guide! My final count was 620 birds for the year, my personal record! At the end of the meeting, George started to sign the books, including mine (great!). Congratulations to all the participants and new members of The 600 Club, and keep on birding!

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