2015 World Series of Birding Report

LoadingBusImages © Todd Klein, except as noted.

Our long birding day began at 5 AM in predawn darkness in the parking lot of the Cape May Meadows, the Nature Conservancy preserve in Cape May where 19 participants, including team chief Mike Crewe and other leaders, loaded our gear on the small shuttle bus we used for the first time this year to get us around. The weather was cool but not cold, and foggy, so rather damp. Fog is not typical in our area, where the prevailing wind is from the west, but this week we’d had warm winds off the ocean from the southeast, creating fog off and on for several days in a row. The temperature was cool but comfortable, very light wind, and the promise of clearing later. Continue reading

WSB Tomorrow!

WSBPageTomorrow I’ll be doing the World Series of Birding with my team, the Cape May Century Run. The weather prediction is good for us participants, not so good for migrating songbirds: light southeast winds, fog in the morning, getting sunny later, temperatures from 55 early to the low 70s later. Could be worse!

Today I’m gathering my gear and snacks, going over the list of things to bring. Tomorrow morning I’ll get up at 3:15 AM, planning to leave the house at 4:15 to meet the team in Cape May before our start time of 5 AM. We’ll bird all day around Cape May County, getting back to the Finish Line in Cape May around 10 PM, and I should stagger in my own door around 11 PM. A long day, but usually a fun one, and raising money for a great cause: New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory.

I have a great group of supporters again this year who have pledged $1 or more per species that our team sees. I’m thankful, but a little disappointed they’re all repeat pledgers, no new ones have come forward. It’s not too late if you’d like to pledge, drop me an EMAIL with a pledge of 10 cents per species or more, and I’ll be eternally grateful. Here’s an article from the local paper about the WSB you might enjoy.

I hope to be posting brief updates on my Facebook page tomorrow, that’s Todd Klein, artist, and a full report here on Sunday, hopefully, if I can manage to get it together by then. Wish us luck!

And Then I Read: THE AUTUMNLANDS 4

autumn4Image © Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey.

What a fun book this is. The plot and characters continue to grow deeper and more complex, heading for “Game of Thrones” territory, but without the grimness and gore — at least so far. Dusty, the viewpoint character on the cover, is a charming starry-eyed kid, swept into the spell of heroic adventures accomplished so far by Learoyd, the “Champion” human called here from the distant past. Learoyd is battle-smart, and so far is keeping ahead of the broken city’s many opponents, but the latter are closing in. He has a “Mowgli” grown-up feel about him that I like, too. The various wizards and diplomats are entertaining in their own way, even if they’re all bumbling around in the dark of their new situation, and the foxy trader is playing everyone. In addition to all this, there are cool ideas like the walking chair and the mystery of the old-time pulp adventure spreads on the second and third pages of each issue. Are they just for flavor, or is that another part of the story? Great stuff by Busiek, Dewey and company.

Highly recommended.

Morning Walk

MorningSunImages © Todd Klein, except as noted.

Six days from now I’ll be outside all day long for the World Series of Birding. This is prime birding time in southern New Jersey, but I’ve been so busy with work I’ve had hardly any time to get out and see birds (or post here!). This morning I was able to take the short drive to Belleplain State Forest for an hour’s walk on a lovely if chilly morning. I stopped first near the Boy Scout camp, where as expected, I heard Summer Tanagers singing, two of them competing for territory. I spent ten minutes looking for them, but couldn’t see them, or the other birds I was hearing. Such is often the case. I drove on to my favorite spot by the bridge on Sunset Road. Continue reading

And Then I Read: GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS 40

GLNG40Image © DC Comics.

Looks like this GREEN LANTERN spinoff ends here, as it says above, though Kyle Rayner and Carol Ferris certainly will not, nor will the Corps itself. So, this issue is all about giving a sense of closure without much real closure. A big battle against an evil monster, teamwork overcoming great odds, some playful banter, and off into the sunset. Nothing unexpected. The art looks okay, though it’s a bit cartoony for my taste, at least on this title.

Mildly recommended.