Sunday, May 12, 2013

Rain didn't stop play...

Saturday turned out to be a real rotter in New Jersey as waves of lashing rain swept across the state and brought thunderstorms to many areas. Saturday was also the day of the 30th World Series of Birding too of course - but the weather really didn't dampen the spirits of the participants and, once again, a great day was had by all.

As luck would have it, many teams seemed able to duck out of the worst of the weather and the heaviest downpours were mostly short-lived. Having taken part in the CMBO Century Run again this year, I can attest to the mucky weather, but we did have some gloriously sunny spells too and there was - as always - a great variety of birds to be sought. It's fair to say that the weather put paid to a good run of migrants this year to help boost team totals, but the cumulative total of 254 species seen in the state on the day by participating teams demonstrates that, even when the weather doesn't bring us a magical fall of migrants, New Jersey still plays host to a remarkable number of bird species.

Perhaps above all else, this year's World Series will be remembered for its youth teams; this competition has for many years been recognised for its great youth participation and this year was to be a year when a youth team romped home and stole the show. Upper Main Line YMCA's BB Kingfishers raced to the finishing line with an excellent total of 186 species recorded in New Jersey between soggy downpours, winning themselves a place in the record books. Other teams put on a magnificent showing too, not least of which were some of the carbon footprint teams who showed great presence of mind in using foot power and bicycle to demonstrate that you can still see a remarkable number of bird species around Cape May without the need to drive everywhere. All the results can be found via the World Series of Birding section of our website.

Of course, the seemingly inevitable cruel twist of fate meant that the sun shone beautifully today and those present at the World Series of Birding award ceremony were able to enjoy a trio of magnificent southern visitors afterward. News broke of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher along Seagrove Avenue and this was swiftly followed by brief but much appreciated visitations from both Mississippi and Swallow-tailed Kites at the point.

Cape May delivers the very best of birding yet again!! If you haven't booked already, get in touch with us as soon as you can and book yourself a place on next weekend's Cape Maygration event - the birds are here, why would you want to be anywhere else?!!

It's certainly proving to be a great spring for Swallow-tailed Kites at Cape May, as this beauty cruised gracefully over Coral Avenue at Cape May Point this afternoon [photo by Mike Crewe].

I am sure that better photos of today's Scissor-tailed Flycatcher along Seagrove Avenue will come to light in due course. But for now, here's a couple of snap shots of this amazing species [photos by Mike Crewe].