Monday, February 1, 2010

Bloggerhead Kingbirds at the Superbowl of Birding - The Pre-game show

No doubt you are now aware that this past weekend, the Bloggerhead Kingbirds competed again in Massachusetts Audubon's annual Superbowl of Birding. As I mentioned in my previous post, we came away with one of the awards this year, which was pretty darn cool!  I said it before and I'll say it again -as cool as it was to get the award, the best part was birding with these guys for the weekend.  It was great catching up with Corey and Nate who returned to the team for their 2nd year on the Kingbirds, getting to know Andrew better who I'd only briefly met earlier this year, and to finally meet John and Mike.  Everybody got along great right from the start (as you would expect with a group of talented birders and bloggers like this group)

The weekend began in earnest (from my point of view - each of the other members had their own start at different times - see their blog posts for their POVs) when I picked up Nate at the airport at about 10am on Friday.  We still had several hours before the rest of the guys showed up so we drove up to Plum Island and then Salisbury to do a little bit of birding/scouting.  The day was bright but very, very, cold, and although the birds were scarce, we did manage some nice species - including several Common Mergansers... which I only mention because we actually missed them on competition day.   On the way back towards the Staybridge Suites in Burlington, where the visiting teammates would be spending the next two evenings, we got a call from Corey to let us know that the NYC area contingent had arrived.  We checked in (getting the same exact room that the team had last year) and Mike arrived a few minutes later.  Within 10 minutes of checking in, we did exactly what you would expect - grabbed binoculars, scopes, and cameras, and started birding right away.  Our first bird as a team?  Conveniently, there is a cooperative Saw-whet Owl that roosts nearby, and since it was a lifer for a few of the guys, it was a no-brainer that we'd check it out.  (My pic is from when I saw this bird earlier - but the other guys managed a few pics before we let it be.)  We then went to check out a pretty cool little bird that we'll need to keep under wraps for now as it is on private property, and out of respect for the homeowners we promised that we'd not say what and where it is for now.
We spent the rest of the evening grabbing an early dinner then reviewing our strategy for the next day, which was going to start at about 4am in order to be at our first location at 5 o'clock sharp the next morning.

Next up - game on!