Cook County iNat Big Year 1/2 Year Update!

I didn't know it at the time I took this photo, because I was unable to ID this damselfly in the field, but it was a Vesper Bluet, an insect I had never seen before.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/50369991

When I saw it I was with my Cook County exploring friend and mentor Derek, in a southern Lake Michigan forest preserve property that is seldom visited, at least that would be my guess. Derek had to fix a log walk way across some open water that spring flooding damaged. I am guessing no one was back in the areas we explored since the log walkway had been damaged.

Anyway, this Vesper Bluet, seen by us June 20th, which, by the way, is not a mature or adult, but rather a just emerged damselfly, was the 1000th species of life I have seen and had peer IDed in Cook County on iNaturalist for 2020. My foolishly set goal was to see 2500 species of life in Cook County for the year. I way over played my hand setting that goal.

Or did I?

For those with your scorecards and pencils at home, here is where I am at for the year:

I have made 3534 observations of species in Cook County thus far this year of 1513 species as I have identified them. I know that I do not have all those IDs correct.

Of those observations 2568 have been peer IDed by 499 members of the iNat community for 1110 confirmed species so far in 2020. Technically, to be on pace, I should have 1250 species peer IDed to this point in the year.

What have I seen:

931 observations of 231 bird species
29 observations of 10 amphibian species
31 observations of 8 reptile species
66 observations of 17 mammal species
12 observations of 7 fish species
6 observations of 4 mollusk species
22 observations of 14 arachnid and mite species
378 observations of 232 insect species
986 observations of 547 plant species
90 observations of 53 mushroom / fungi species
and 2 observations of 2 protozoan species

(yes, I know these numbers do not add up, confused about this at moment)

Plus I have peer IDs on about 70 observations that will never be IDed to species, but are IDable to genus or tribe or sub-tribe, or something of that ilk.

Actually, its a pretty good start for a half year. I'd like to say a half year to go, right? But truth is that I basically have until the middle, MAYBE end of October to get the observations made to try and reach my audacious goal of seeing 2500 species in Cook County and having them peer IDed on iNat.

I basically have 15, maybe 16 weeks to see the remaining 1390 species to make goal.

Things up my sleeve? I have over 200-300 species that have yet to be peer IDed that I have already observed, including over 200 plant species, many of which are probably IDable. BUGS. The bugs are starting to come out in hoards. I have lots of bugs to get. And my guide Derek tells me that I will see more plant species in the second half of the year over the first half.

This all makes me a bit more optimistic than I was when I made my last update. I will need to see a lot of life in Cook County, and if you see something great, PLEASE let me know if it is something you think I can find after you have seen it. I am gonna need a lot of help to get this over the finish line, but one way or another, we are going to find out if one person can actually see 2500 different species of life here in Cook County, in a year.

Posted by skrentnyjeff skrentnyjeff, July 01, 2020 04:58

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