Posted by: Derek Lovitch, team member
Today was a long day of riding roads and scouting pine barrens and overgrown fields for some of the southern specialties, such as Kentucky Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Orchard Oriole, Summer Tanager, Bobwhite, Yellow-breasted Chat and others.
My planned route was way too long (mostly due to traveling time), so it's back to the drawing board on that.
My inexperience in this area of the state has certainly helped cut out my work for me. Thanks to Curt from the Virginia team, I was able to learn a number of sites. And, I'll be relying on much information from other, more experienced teams, as I feel my way through this process, in my rookie year.
A Prairie Warbler is singing outside the window of the Nature Conservancy office I am working in at the moment, and the shadows are growing longer on this relatively hot (around 80 - hot for us up north anyway!) day.
Tonight, I will head back down to Cape May Point for a potluck dinner with many of the southern teams. I will be working the crowd to get help on my route, but I will also get a chance to see many of my friends from when I worked down here!
Oh, and for those of you keeping score: another Wawa sandwhich for lunch.
Until next time . . .
I started the morning off in true Joisey style: a pork-roll, egg and cheese on a bagel followed by sitting in traffic! After a few errands, I headed south towards the Brigantine division of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Hey, Guess what? More traffic!
But, as usual, as one heads farther south on the Parkway the traffic thins, and eventually made my way to "Brig." After stopping at a Wawa for one of those great, quick, cheap Wawa sandwiches. (For those of you who have not been south of New York City, you have no idea what you're missing in convience stores. Here in South Jersey, there's literrally one at each corner, and almost all birding info revolves around "turns at a Wawa")
Brig was hopping! Lots of activity, including some of our important target species like Gull-billed Tern, herons, shorebirds, Peregrine Falcon, and hopefully that American Whie Pelican will hang out until Saturday! After that it was driving south into Cape May, and up the bayshore, mostly to refamiliarize myself with the roads and birding sites.
My home base for the week is with a friend of mine who is the caretaker for an amazing estate on the bank of the Maurice River, just south of Millville.
A few hours in front of maps and it was time to hit the sack.