07 February 2012

The Big Sit: Green Cay

The Big Sit was a success even with the overcast weather and the occasional drizzle.  By 9AM we already had 30+ birds.  The goal I set for the day was 50 and I didn't think it would happen with much trouble.  Some of the volunteers that I had lined up to help out bailed at the last moment so I knew it would be a little more difficult but I was optimistic.

We focused on the alligator hole area for passerines.  I knew that warblers and vireos liked that patch and I was hoping it would pay off.  We did squeak out a Downy Woodpecker to my surprise and with a long day's effort we saw Yellow-rumped Warbler and Palm Warbler.

With the showers approaching, I was worried about the 50 goal.  We were sitting on 49, when across the open water we spotted a tern heading in our direction.  Sure enough, it was a Royal Tern.  High fives and cheering rang out from the crowd.  We had hit our mark!  And shortly thereafter I called the count due to the weather and the fact that I needed to close up the park.  It was a great day and I hope to host another Big Sit at the wetlands soon.  If you haven't done a Big Sit I highly recommend finding one or hosting your own.  

We ended the 8 hour Big Sit with 50 species and 2 additional heard only species.  Highlights included watching a Sharp-shinned Hawk chase a Cooper's Hawk, Caspian Terns flying by, Hooded Merganser fly-overs, and the nice people that stopped by to help out with the count or just learn something new about the wildlife of Green Cay.

I owe many thanks to all the birders that assisted me and the Friends of Green Cay Nature Center that sponsored the event.  Barbara Newcomb and Kim Curran get top honors for helping out with the volunteer aspect.


Kimmie said...

I had fun. It was a great experience and hopefully I can make the next one.

Eva Matthews said...

Glad you could make it. Thanks for being a great volunteer and friend.