Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mother Nature This Week

So, we had an earthquake, a hurricane, and some tornadoes in Philly this week. Pretty unusual for our part of the world and certainly unusual back-to-back. The earthquake was really freaky. I was in my office in Center City and didn't know what was going on for a few seconds. At first, I thought it was Roxy under my chair moving around but then my coworkers started getting out of their cubes and looking at me like - "What do we do? It's an earthquake!". We all stood outside like dopes for 20 minutes (which is the opposite of what you are supposed to do in an earthquake) before returning to work.

The weather people sure played up Hurricane Irene to the point that Cape May was evacuated, Septa stopped running, etc, etc. and it turned out not to be that bad. Barbara, Di and I headed down to the shore on Sunday to see if the shacks were still standing - which they were - and to check out the "storm birding" scene. Not familiar with storm birding? Well, it is when birders rush out after a big storm to see rarities. It is a big deal with hurricanes since they tend to blow tropical birds far north so rare sightings are quite common.

Check out the scene at the Concrete Ship at Cape May Point. This is 2:30 PM on Sunday with 45 MPH gusts and sustained winds of something like 25 MPHs which sandblasted the skin off of my legs. That is why we are all huddled together next to the Sunset Grille (great grilled cheese sandwiches btw). Sadly, we can no longer deny being the nerdiest of nerds after seeing this photo.



Our deniability is also out the window since this scene was made public on both the Cape May Bird Observatory blog (that's me in the front looking through the scope, Di to my left in the red and Barbara to my right in the navy) AND The Philadelphia Inquirer (that's Barbara on the extreme left in the photo).

We got to see the unidentified large swift and all of the terns mentioned in the blog post. We were too late for the petrel and the tropicbirds though.

Brown Booby persists on the channel marker. I wonder when that bird will go south?
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