Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm Going Bowling [Fun & Games]

Friday morning, as this is posted to the Whole Wide World, I'll be on my way to Massachusetts. After driving east for six hours, interstate after interstate, I'll reach the outskirts of Boston where I'll meet up with five guys I've never met. We will then commence to bowl.

I should clarify that I don't mean the ancient sport of kings. No, my casual use of "bowling" is the more active but less known world of competitive birding, in this case a challenge known as the Superbowl of Birding.

A few weeks ago the Massachusetts-based author of Picus Blog sent me an out-of-the-blue email asking if I would be interested in participating in the event, joining the team of bird-blogging birders, the Bloggerhead Kingbirds. The chance of spending twelve hours of non-stop birding along the New England coast in late January was too good to pass up, especially the chance to meet face-to-face five guys I've grown to like and respect through their writing and photography. Since nothing was brewing on the home front or on the work schedule, I happily accepted.

Technically the contest doesn't start until 5:00 AM Saturday morning, but really it all gets underway when we all arrive on Friday. Team-captain Christopher has been pounding the beaches, fields, asphalt, and thickets over the past couple of weeks. Once we're all together it'll be last minute preparations, reviewing the route, determining how to maximize our chances of nailing down all expected species and hopefully crossing paths with unexpected species . . . you know, the usual.

At least, I assume some of that takes place, along with just having fun and seeing some great winter birds. We'll be scouring fields for Snowy Owls and Rough-legged Hawks, the ocean for Razorbills and murres, any body of water for Iceland, Glaucous, and rarer gulls, crossing our fingers for a few winter finches that are essentially absent from the region this year, as well as tallying the common species.

So, who am I spending the weekend with? Five bloggers you should know, if you don't already:
I know there are a lot of folks who wish they could be in my shoes for the weekend. I am flattered to have been asked, and I'm sure you can tell I'm looking forward to the experience. I'll be reporting back here following the Big Day, stay tuned. And don't miss out on their unique perspectives and interpretations, either!



Nate said...

Yeah, there will be some good blogging about this competition.

Glad you made it out! And I'm looking forward to see the photos you got.

dAwN said...

Excellent Post..I know a few of these Birder/ bloggers..nice to get your perspective..
It certainly is wonderful to meet other..Bird bloggers..
and looks like you all had a fabulous day.

noflickster said...

@Nate - From the "few days later" there's been some great blogging about the event! It was great to finally meet you in person, hope we can do it again some day. And congrats on the lifers!

@Dawn - Thanks! It certainly is fun to meet folks face-to-face. I'm looking forward to more of that, and if you're ever passing through the western NY area be sure to let me know!


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