Saturday, September 19, 2015

I Witnessed It

I stayed down the shore on Sunday night to avoid traffic (what's new) and to get one more morning of birding in at Higbee beach before the work week began. Boy, am I glad I did that. Higbee has been relatively slow birding with a few warblers here and there. Good quality but not the quantity that Higbee is known for in the fall. Granted, it is still early in the season.

I arrive at the parking lot at 6:30 AM and took Peanut out to field 4 to avoid the crowds of birders who were assembled in field 1. I immediately knew that something special was happening when we looked at the dawn sky and saw hundreds of warblers shooting past us headed north. Hundreds of birds whizzing by, not stopping, just flying fast. The few that did land for a minute took off immediately. It was the kind of morning where you don't need binoculars, you just stand there and watch the flight. By 7 AM, I had seen thousands of birds fly past.

A couple of birders who were new to Higbee asked if this was normal. Normal? No. Something special? Yes. In fact, the official bird counters from NJ Audubon tallied 56,000 + warblers (just warblers) that morning. They counted 40,000 birds in under 1 hour. And then just like that, they were all gone. By 8:30 AM the spectacle was over with just a few birds passing by. Amazing. You should read the full report here: http://cmboviewfromthecape.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-monday-for-history-books.html .

No photos to show you from that day. Photography wasn't the point. Witnessing the event was enough. A memory of a lifetime.
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