[CT Birds] World Series of Birding

Brendan Murtha bmskua at sbcglobal.net
Mon May 16 16:39:06 EDT 2016

Hello all!
On Saturday the Connecticut Young Birders Club Darth Waders (Alex Burro, Jory Tester, Peter Thompson and myself) participated in the World Series of Birding in Cape May, NJ.  This event, run by the Cape May Bird Observatory, is in its 33rd year and is a massively successful fundraising and community building event in which teams of birders from all over come to New Jersey for 24 epic hours of big day birding.We had a pretty crazy day, and as with all big days things didn't go exactly as planned-- right after breaking the 100 species mark a few minutes after 8 AM (we were on a great pace!) we got our car stuck in a muddy rut while trying to get to a Wood Duck spot.  We managed to get the car towed out and get a rental, but lost an entire three hours of prime birding time.  Although our optimism was a bit crushed, we were back birding by noon and pushed hard through the end of the day.  A special thanks has to go out to my dad, Sean Murtha, who kept a level head and managed to get us a rental and back on the road without costing us the big day entirely.  Alex also did a wonderful job of filling in as a driver during a portion of the day.  
Despite this obstacle, we managed to finish the day with a solid 150 species, not too far behind the winners of the County competition at all.  We were all very satisfied with this total, and are ready to go back next year and clean up on a big day without interruption.  Some of the many highlights were Black-billed Cuckoo, Summer Tanager, all three eastern Nightjars, Acadian Flycatcher, Prothonotary and Yellow-throated Warblers, Blue Grosbeak, Bobolink, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Horned Lark, Tricolored Heron, Royal Tern, Black Skimmer, Whimbrel, White-rumped Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, American Woodcock, Northern Shoveler, both Teal, Northern Gannet, and Iceland Gull.
A huge thanks to everyone who pledged money or donated to our cause.  Thanks largely in part to CT birders, it looks like we will have raised close to $1000 for our causes.  70% will go to the club itself, to fund a fledgling scholarship program and help put the word out about our vibrant young birder community.  30% will go to support Bicknell's Thrush conservation work with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, a wonderful program that supports a truly imperiled species.
Thanks again for all the support the CT birding community has given us thus far!
Brendan MurthaCTYBC President 

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