Saturday, May 12, 2007

World Series Day

Today was the World Series of Birding here in NJ when birders try to find the greatest number of species to raise money for conservation. I play every year with the Sandy Hook team, but this year only joined the group for a few hours in the late afternoon. While the poor souls who had been at it since 5:30 this morning had their dinner break, I watched the terns feeding on Sandy Hook Bay. That's a battleship of some sort in the background at the nearby naval weapons station.
The terns weren't the only ones fishing on the bay, but they seemed to be much more successful than the others. I love to watch the terns wheeling and diving over the water - makes me dizzy!
We did the *death march* out to the salt ponds at the very tip of Sandy Hook and saw hundreds of swallows and some shorebirds. Patrick from The Hawk Owl's Nest is somewhere in this group photo; he was a co-leader for the day and is a nice guy and has a wonderful smile!
We visited the locust grove looking for warblers feeding at dusk. The sunset over the dunes was gorgeous tonight - somehow I managed to miss the peak of the beach plum bloom, but they're still very pretty. We ended the day listening for woodcock, barred owls, whipporwills, and nighthawks, but found only a great horned owl perched in the distance. All told, I think the group had about 125 species today which is a respectable number, although they missed some *sure to see* birds.

7 comments:

Cathy said...

I'll have to 'google' beach plum. I don't know this plant being land-locked as I am. I'm wondering if there's any fragrance.

I'm glad you got out with your birding compatriots. It's good to have distractions when your heart's a little achy.

mon@rch said...

Thats almost twice as many birds than what we were able to locate! Looks like you had an amazing day and those whip-poor wills will be a tough one for me to get! Great job!

Mary said...

That' great, Laura. Your photos confirmed a wonderful day! To see such a view and so many birds...can't get much better than that!

Thanks for sharing. It looks cold there.

Patrick Belardo said...

Hey Laura,

It was good seeing you at the Hook! The WSB is always a great day and I hope you can be there for the whole day next year. ...And my parents paid the orthodontist a lot of money for that smile. Thanks! :)

Larry said...

That's nice that the two of you ran in to each other-Glad you were able to get out and enjoy some birding after some hard times.
I always feel strange about taking pictures of people-Do you have to ask permission or is it o.k. to just post them?

John said...

I'm glad the Sandy Hook group was able to record so many species. It is good to know that there is such diversity in such a small space.

Gone Birding... said...

125...good job! We never remember what we see, just what we missed! We won a prize for the 'Big Miss'...Belted Kingfisher...Cheers..Rich Mooney...gone birding