Monday, May 3, 2010

Counting Birds and Makin' Pie

Now that I'm wrapping up the last semester of my last year at Penn State, I have a little bit of free time before the chaos of moving to New Mexico. In my view, it's like I'm taking a mini retirement. I made some extra cash over the winter, and I am being paid with my stipend up through May, and I have no plans on really working this summer. So for about 2-3 months, I'll be living the dream. If it comes to it, I'll sell my stuff on the internet. That just means fewer things to move, right?

Along those lines, I did something this weekend that was reminicent of someone who is retired. I went birding. It was pretty hard core as far as birding goes.

My boyfriend is an avid birder, and for the longest time he's been wanting to participate in the Birding Cup, a local birding competition. So, he finally got a small team of beginners together and we spent 24 hours birding from Friday evening through Saturday evening. I think out of the entire 24 hours, we spent a solid 19 doing actual birding. We're a bunch of geologists, so our team name was "The Turnstones", a type of bird. We almost went with "Birding Ink", because some of our team mates have some sweet bird tattoos.

Friday evening we headed out to try and get some evening birds, and we totally missed out on owls, which was a bummer. However, I saw and heard Whip-poor-wills and Woodcocks, which was really cool. For the record: the Woodcocks' making call is hilarious and Whip-poor-wills get annoying after a while. They make this really repetitive sound, and it's kind of eery sounding as well.

Saturday morning we awoke at 5am to meet up at 5:45 and get all the early morning birds. I was going strong until about 2pm, where I passed out in the car before our lunch break. By the end of the day we had seen numerous types of sandpipers, heard a bunch of different warblers, and saw more sparrows than I can remember. In total, we identified 106 species of bird by sight and/or sound. We completely clobbered the other beginners at the competition, I just hope we didn't stomp all over the poor darlings' hearts.

As our prize we got jump drives with bird songs and calls from all of North America's birds (worth about $50). We also will have our names placed on a trophy (I'll post pictures of that once I get them from Matt), and we got a sweet looking Birding Cup shirt.

Somehow during all of this I also made a delicious berry pie. Talk about multi-tasking!

No comments:

Post a Comment