Sunday, August 21, 2011

Question Us? You Have Some Nerve!

Remember the post about finding Davie's Lake? Scroll down and take a quick refresher. I'll wait
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OK, are you back. Well, what I didn't tell you (because I didn't think it was post worthy) is that we saw 33 Pelicans flying north along the bay too. The first group had 28, then 1 straggler, then 4 more. My math says 33. Anyway, we entered it into eBird along with the other sightings including 52 Snow Egrets, etc, etc. A few days later, Barbara gets an email from an eBird guy asking if she was sure that she saw Pelicans. Pelicans! Ummm yes, we know what Pelicans look like. They are pretty unmistakable. They look like this:

1 Pelican

+

4 Pelicans

+


28 Pelicans
=
33 Pelicans

So Barbara emails the guy back and says something kind of sarcastic like. Ummm, I may not be an expert birder, but I know what a Pelican looks like. Yes, I'm sure we saw Pelicans.

Fast forward 2 weeks ahead to this Saturday. We read a good amount of postings stating that the southbound migration was picking up and that Tom Johnson was back on duty at the Higbee Beach Dredge Spoil Dike doing his official counting so we decided to make that our destination. We expected a crowd of birders to be there, but when Lori, Barbara and I arrived, we were #3, 4 and 5 on the Dike (lots of sophomore humor can go here). You can see alot from up on the dike including the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, the entrance to the canal, and part of the bay along with woods and marsh. Tom and the other guy were busy calling out and recording passing birds (which looked like little bullets to us). The birdnerds were looking at anything that moved and wracking up a good list thanks to the aid of experts.

During a lull in the action, Barbara starts to tell us about the eBird guy who questioned the Pelican sighting and do we believe that someone would question something like Pelicans as if they could be mistaken for something else. With that, Tom starts giggling and says "uh, this is the guy that questioned the sighting"' and points to the other guy! Oh, just great. The guy's name is Sam and we see his name all over the tweets, texts, and alerts about unusual sightings around Cape May. Sam starts giggling too and apologizes to Barbara saying that he hit the "send" button to soon and really meant to ask if she was sure that she was at Davie's Lake since 33 Pelicans is a really good sighting for that area. Well, we all had a good laugh and from that point forward, all birds that flew past the dike were Pelicans!

We even invited Sam to go out on a whale watching boat with us later that afternoon since we had 2 extra tickets. I gave him my phone number (again, lots of jibes can be inserted here) and asked him to let us know if he could use the tickets. Well, he called back to say thanks for the offer but that he was going out on another boat to verify a sighting of a rare Brown Booby (more sophomoric humor here) that was spotted in Jarvis Sound sitting on a channel marker.
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