RiverCreepers Recapture Century Mark!
Lists 105 Species During NJ Audubon’s 2005 World Series of Birding;
Nearly $10K Raised So Far
By Captain Hughie Carola
The 2005 World Series Of Birding (WSB) is finally history and thanks to an unprecedented outpouring of support, it’s one for the record books! By the time the Shop Rite Hackensack RiverCreepers called it quits late in the evening of May 14, we’d listed 105 species, eight more than last year’s total of 97! We kept up a grueling and frenetic pace that started at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst at 2:30 a.m., took us completely around the watershed and lasted until 8:30 p.m. when we finally finished at Kearny Marsh.
To give you an idea of what it takes to do a WSB, I went to bed at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13, and woke up at 1:10 a.m. on May 14. By 2:30 a.m., I met my teammates at DeKorte Park and we listed our first bird–a Black-crowned night heron. From there, we hit some of the best birding hotspots in our little corner of New Jersey: Palisades Interstate Park, Tenafly Nature Center, Overpeck Park, the Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area, Oradell Reservoir and Kearny Marsh.
Of course there’s no way I could ever have done the WSB without the ‘Creepers: Dave Kaplan (Principal of Upper Saddle River’s Bogert Elementary School who selflessly gave us his time yet again), Kerul Kassel (who came all the way from her new home in Florida and navigated us through the entire WSB) and Hackensack Riverkeeper Trustee Ivan Kossak (who gallantly took on the responsibility of doing all the driving and gained my undying respect). Without question, their talent and expertise carried the day. Me? I do the paperwork.
The only real surprises on our list are White-rumped and Stilt sandpipers. Getting them put our shorebird count at 10 - a team best. The weirdest thing that happened during the WSB was that it took us 18.5 hours to find a Black duck - a supposedly common species that nests in the Meadowlands.
A tremendous thank-you goes to Cathe & Jay Morrow for their WSB Matching Fund that so far stands at $3,130.50. Thanks also to our anonymous donor who added an additional $3,000. Taken together with the pledges & single donations, our tally is a record-breaking $9,261 (and it’s still growing!). I fully expect our initial tally of donations to top $4,000 and our grand total with matches to exceed $11,000! FYI, last year’s grand total was just over $2,600.
As always, kudos to Shop Rite Supermarkets for their generous corporate sponsorship which allows the ‘Creepers to compete as a Level One team alongside some of the best birders in the world (and gets us listed on the official t-shirt!). Special thanks go to Tim Vogel, Shop Rite’s Environmental Affairs Manager!
Of course, we reserve the biggest thanks for all the wonderful people who support us and in so doing help keep Hackensack Riverkeeper on the job protecting the very place those birds call home - our Hackensack River watershed.
See the final results at: www.hackensackriverkeeper.org/2005_WSB_results.htm
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