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:
- Christopher of the Picus Blog,
- Corey of 10000Birds,
- Nathan of The Drinking Bird,
- John of A D.C. Birding Blog, and
- Andrew the Birding Dude.