In the World Series of Birding we are forced to confront the situation that "Everything we do costs time". Time is the currency of the event. We only have so much available and it us to us to figure out the best place to spend that time. There are only 1440 minutes in the event and nothing we can do can change that. We maximize those 1440 minutes by planning and strategizing. We have notes from previous years that help us accomplish that but every year presents new challenges
An example is Piping Plover. Last year we were able to see and identify a Piping Plover rather quickly. There was a nesting Piping Plover in a easily accessible location. This year, because of the locations of the known nests, it looks like it will take more time to get to any one of the nesting areas. The picture above is an "exclosure" set up by a state agency around a known nest. It is called an exclosure because it is designed to keep predators out, not to keep anything in. (Yes, there is a bird in that exclosure. See if you can find it!) We like to deal with Piping Plovers on nests because they are predictable locations. A question is, how close do we need to get to the exclosure to properly identify the species with our outstanding Nikon optics? And is there even a place where we can get closer? Or is there a better exclosure somewhere in New Jersey to serve our purposes? Or is there a nest that is active but not in an exclosure? If we need an extra 10 minutes for Piping Plover this year that 10 minutes needs to come at the expense of another location or species. Part of today will be spent trying to find a better location than what we already have for viewing Piping Plover and also trying to figure out where we can get the extra ten minutes from if we need to have them. That 10 minutes has to come at the expense of something else.
Also Gadwall, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Red Knot, Tri-colored Heron, Carolina Wren, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Great Cormorant, Blue-winged Teal, Cooper's Hawk, Royal Terns, etc. need my attention today. And that is just part of my list. Each member of the team has a similar list to work on today!
- Bert -