WSB: Notes from the Field

Saturday’s World Series of Birding is fast approaching, when my team, and about 90 other teams will be out in the field across New Jersey, looking for, listening for, and ticking off bird species in a contest to raise funds for wildlife and natural space conservation and education groups.

It has rained here nearly every day for the last two weeks. The sun came out for a while this afternoon, the first I’ve seen it in about 7 days. We may get some rain on Saturday, too, which would not be surprising. I think it rained about half the day for last year’s WSB.

My team leader, Don Freiday, emailed us some notes from the field today, here’s an excerpt:

We have received a LOT of rain in the past several days, and it is wet almost everywhere. Waterproof footgear is recommended, especially for the early morning portion of the day. I will be wearing rubber boots in the morning and switch to light hikers later on, and you can do the same – we can stash extra footgear under the seats, or you can leave the spare pair in your vehicle for when we return to the meeting site in the afternoon.

With the rain comes MOSQUITOES, and there are plenty of them, even in Cape May terms, at places like Hidden Valley and Higbee.  I recommend repellent, long sleeves, and/or bug-proof clothing.  Please remember to apply repellent before you arrive or at our meeting place, or in the field.  The mosquitoes did not prevent Patty Rourke and I from hearing Great-horned Owl, Chuck-will’s-widow, Eastern Screech-owl and Prothonotary Warbler at Hidden Valley this morning, by the way. Insect pests will be much fewer later in the day and at our more open destinations, like the meadows or state park.

Rubber boots and insect repellent, check. I’ll be ready! And I’ll be raising funds for the Cape May Bird Observatory, not just for me, but for some very generous blog readers who responded to my call for pledges. My heartiest thanks go to






And one other, who prefers to remain anonymous. They’ll be getting a package of signed stuff from me, too. If you’d like to join in, it’s not too late. Read more about it in my previous post, HERE. I won’t let you down, team! Rain or shine, I’ll be out there birding.

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