33rd Annual World Series of Birding. The fifth ride of Ridin Birdy in the Carbon Footprint Cup. This year we rode more than 70 miles by bicycle and placed 2nd, finishing with 147 species. We were representing the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club (http://www.dvoc.org) in the event, raising money for the Bird Philly program. Our route began at Heislerville WMA at midnight, followed by a trek across Belleplain state park until 0330. We caught a quick rest in a lean-to at Belleplain State Park, enjoyed the dawn chorus at Belleplain, and then birded our way to Cook’s Beach to pick up shorebirds. Then we headed southeast and birded Stone Harbor boulevard (herons), out to the SH point and Nummy’s island, through Wildwood to Cape May island.
Weather was lo-mid 50s overnight, and warmed to low 60s during the day. At 1900, a huge thunderstorm approached as we were leaving Higbee’s Beach. We arrived at our final destination, the Magnesite plant, right as the deluge began. We were thoroughly soaked and the temperature dropped, prompting an emergency pizza party under an awning at the end of Sunset Ave. A magnificent double rainbow stretched across the sky as the sun set in the distance, beyond the storm, and distant ships were illuminated by the sun on the misty horizon. In one final push, we added Common Nighthawk by returning to the Magnesite plant after the storm passed, and then rode to the finish line exhausted, sore, limping, but nevertheless Ridin Birdy.
Our 2016 checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29698293
Ridin Birdy’s record in the Carbon Footprint Cup: 2009 (1st)…2010 (2nd)…2011 (2nd)…2015 (1st)…2016 (2nd).