Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reflections on WSB 2010

Now that the dust has settled and I was able to catch up on sleep I have some time to look back on our incredible day. For a year where we had the 3rd warmest April on record it was actually one of the coldest scout weeks I can remember. Both Zach and I predicted we would finish in the low 220's based on what we were and weren't finding, but this current route of ours has proven very consistent. We have had 229, 229, and 228 species for the last 3 years. The warm April meant that most of the lingering ducks took off, but we still managed to get a respectable tally of waterfowl despite missing Green-winged Teal. We even had a chance for Harlequin, and Long-tailed Duck but missed then during the event. In the South portion we even had several birds we didn't have scout week including RT Loon and Pelican. My experience has been that you create your own luck, and we spent some extra time scanning the ocean because we knew our timings.

There are lots of teams with some awesome birders out there, but this year was another example of how time management and good teamwork (along with a little luck) is what wins the event. Zach and Paul ran a flawless North route and we headed South on time (10:30am) with 150 species (a team record) and 30 species of warblers already tallied! We had time to hit all our planned stops in the South and got most, but not all the species we had on the table there. It's always nice to get to try for everything even if they don't always cooperate. We ended our daylight at Brigantine as we did the last several years and tacked another 8 species onto the list at last light. It's always nice to be still racking up birds until the end. I think the team will agree with me that our 2010 run surpassed our expectations and we were pleasantly surprised with the result.

Michael Fritz
Seaville, NJ

Sent from my iPad

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