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Monday, May 14, 2007


On Friday and Saturday I birded with a couple of friends to raise money for the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association birdathon. Our birding was restricted to sites within the watershed, which does not include any good waterbird or shorebird habitat, so we're always struggling to get to 100 species. This year was no different, we ended up with only 96 birds.

Highlights on Friday were a Black-crowned Night Heron at the Ambler Waterfowl Preserve--an old abandoned asbestos pit filled with water--and a Wild Turkey, which are easy to get this year at Four Mills, but a bird we've missed in the past.

Friday night I ended up camping at Fort Washington on Militia Hill, one of our best birding spots, for a father/son campout with my church group, so I got an early start on the dawn chorus there. It was a much better day for migrants on Saturday, and we ended up with 20 warbler species, including Cape May, Blackpoll, Wilson's, Hooded, and Nashville--some not-to-easy to get birds in our area. But the highlight for me was my best-ever look at Black-billed Cuckoo, a bird that has elluded me many times in the past.

So, a good weekend of birding, for fun and nonprofit. And congrats to my eBird friends at Cornell who won the big-league World Series of Birding in NJ this weekend.

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