At the end of 17 days birding the Cerrado, the southern Amazon Basin, and the Pantanal of Brazil I had added 309 new species to my world lifelist and seen a total of 525 bird species. By the time I boarded the plane in Cuiabá on my way to São Paulo, I had a total of 1,642 world lifers, which is about double the number of species found in the United States.
To reach this number I had to travel. All across the United States from California to Cape May to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Two trips to Spain. Then south to the Americas: Costa Rica Panama, Ecuador, and Brazil and over to the western Pacific to Japan.
I had also whiffed on birds all over California and the rest of the United States. I have many birds that might have been.
It is a reminder to stay in the moment and celebrate the bird in front of you. It may me with you a short time or you may get quality time but it never pays to think of the bird that never was.