Sunday, May 23, 2010

Looking back

As I write this it was only 8 days ago that we were identifying species for the 2010 World Series of Birding. In many ways it seems so long ago but in other ways it seems so very fresh and recent. After months of planning and thought "scout week" and the event come and go so fast. There is no time to stop and reflect as the event unfolds. But the quickly occurring events of the day become memories that will last forever.

Here are twenty memories that I cherish:

1. Explaining to a sales girl in a Starbucks exactly why we needed all that coffee

2. Getting instructions to the High Point/Stokes area from a local police officer.

3. Being up on Vesper Hill without the sounds of distant generators, put having wind instead.

4. Coming upon a singing Lincoln's Sparrow during a dash in the woods for a Golden-winged Warbler

5. Crossing I80 heading south at 10:27 in the morning with 150 species

6. A quick, very quick stop at a Wawa in Millville for fuel and starting on our "southern route"

7. Mike have so many spots for the "southern breeders"

8. Having the Bobwhite finally respond.

9. Getting all the expected species at Heislerville but nothing out of the ordinary.

10. The seemingly endless wait (about 8 minutes) at the campground for the Red-headed Woodpecker to appear.

11. The quick, efficient tour of Cape May (south of the canal)

12. Missing Cattle Egret in all four of our potential locations

13. Heading toward Brigantine knowing we were on time and the plan for the southern route had worked

14. Having the Whip-poor-will circle around us as dusk fell at Brig

15. The quick three hours of night birding in the south.

16. One last futile attempt for the Snow Goose at Fort Apache.

17. The enjoyment of getting to the finish line after a successful day

18. Trying to find my car keys at 12:30 am. (They were in a coffee travel mug in my pack. Right where I put them.)

19. Being so lucky to be able to work with Zack, Mike and Paul to be part of a team that is good at this silly event.

20. Having so much fun it is almost sinful.

So another year ends but another year begins. On Tuesday, two days after the event, I was back doing some casual birding at Brigantine. A Snow Goose, a species we missed on the World Series Day, flew in front of my van and landed nearby in the impoundment. You could convince me that he turned, looked at me, and smiled.

Bert Filemyr

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