We did pretty well considering that none of us scouted and we didn't really have a plan until late Friday night. Total species for the day - 130.
We started at 3:30 AM at the Meadows hoping to hear some birds in the night but busted big time and headed to Higbee for sunrise. We did much better there starting our day with Chuck-wills-widows calling before dawn and almost stepping on a Woodcock before it flew away. We also heard Virginia Rail kiddicking in the distance. All of these birds are hit or miss on any given year, so getting them all before dawn was a huge win.
As the sun rose, we began to tick off the usual suspects - Catbirds and wrens and field sparrows along with plenty of warblers that were cruising in off of the bay. Barbara picked off a Meadowlark in flight which was very impressive. This caused Di to start in with the Globe Trotters routine (remember Meadowlark Lemon?). Di also impressed everyone by spotting a loon in flight. My big pick of the day was female Cerulean Warbler which isn't easy to ID.
As the day drew on, we made some miscalculations about where to go but the big win was going back to the Meadows where we racked up almost all of the shorebirds that we could imagine including Red Knots, Stilt and White-rumped Sandpipers which are hard to find.
We dipped on some birds too like Orchard Oriole which is usually a gimme.
It's fun to run into the other teams during the day too. Many DVOCers participate in the contest. We ran into a real powerhouse of a team lead by the DVOC President, George Armistead with Jason Weckstein, Tom Johnson and Dan Lane by his side. These guys are super-birders and fun too. They pointed us in the right direction for Kentucky Warbler at Belleplain and we pointed them in the right direction for pizza when it started to pour rain at 6 PM. We birded with the senior group at Higbee. Their leader had the nerve to ask if we were also in the Senior Division - I almost smacked him but he helped us find a few birds.
We ended the day at 8 PM after Lori could take it no more. Went back to the house and had birthday cake with Tara, then collapsed.
Thanks to those who pledged to support our cause which is the DVOC Interns Fund. The club is trying to get a fund going so that we can help the Academy of Natural Sciences support ornithology interns.
Make checks payable to DVOC with memo: Interns Fund - PhillyBirdNerds. Mail checks to:
c/o 1314 Lenore Road
Meadowbrook PA 19046
BTW, no photos from the day. Too busy chasing the birds.
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