Have you thought about what you are going to wear on your CBC and this winter? Well you need to start, because the elements can be brutal and certainly taxing on your body. If your not dressed properly you are going to get cold the minute you step foot outside and promptly go home.
I would rather have to unzip or open up a layer to cool off than to be cold at anytime, anywhere on my body in winter outside! If you don’t stay warm & dry all over, then something is not working the way it should be in the system that you have and wear. Layering is the key but done properly so as to keep warm and dry. In the photos the outfit I am wearing, I have NEVER been cold once.
Some of it I mix and match of what and how long of a day I am spending outdoors. Including just how cold it is out and what type of adventure I am going on. My suggestions below will keep you warm and dry but at a price when all is said and done. You won’t have to buy again unless your still young and growing. That is worth it to me for all the times I spent money on gear that just didn’t work at all. Buy once and be done with it!
These suggestions are geared to outdoor activities who are out in the elements all day or standing around for long periods of time waiting for something to happen.
- Socks ~ Fits. Light & Medium hikers. https://www.fitssock.com/
- Long Underwear ~ Hot Chillys, La Montana Bottom & Top Yoked Zip-T. https://www.hotchillys.com/ or silk underwear http://www.wintersilks.com/
- Turtle Neck – I like next to my skin then Hot Chilly’s Top Yoked Zip-T.
- Windpants ~ Marmot PreCip Shell Pants http://marmot.com/search/precip-pant
- Arcteryx Micon Pants ~ Insulated http://www.arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Mens/Pants-Shorts/Micon-Pant
- Hiking boots ~ Lowa Renegade GTX Mid & Renegade III GTX Lo both with GoreTex and have both of them. https://www.lowaboots.com/
- Baffin Artic Boots ~ Icefield – super insulated. Rating -100°C/-148°F. Women: http://www.baffin.com/category_s/12.htm
- Muck Boots ~ Edgewater Hi, Artic Sport Hi – walking in water suberb!
- Super Feet Insoles ~ I have the green & merino grey ones. https://www.superfeet.com/en-us/
- Gloves ~ North Face TNF Apex Glove light & Gore-Tex Ski Gloves. https://www.thenorthface.com/
- Hat ~ Turtle Fur Beanies. http://www.turtlefur.com/
- Jacket shell and or insulated ~ Arc’teryx http://www.arcteryx.com/ProductFind.aspx?language=EN&gender=mens&category=Jackets
Additional Gear click here. Winter Gear
History of the Christmas Bird Count Prior to the turn of the century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt”: They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.
Conservation was in its beginning stages around the turn of the 20th century, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a “Christmas Bird Census”-that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them.
So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Frank M. Chapman and the enthusiasm of twenty-seven dedicated birders, twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America. Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied around 90 species on all the counts combined.
The First Christmas Bird Count was on December 25, 1900. About 18,500 individual birds and 27 total participants Cumulative bird species list: 89 species total.
Counts conducted in first Christmas Bird Count: 25 total counts
Scotch Lake, York County, New Brunswick Toronto, Ontario
Keene, New Hampshire
Belmont and Cambridge, Massachusetts Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts Winchester, Massachusetts Bristol, Connecticut Norwalk, Connecticut Auburn to Owasco Lake, New York Central Park, New York City, New York Englewood, New Jersey Moorestown, New Jersey Newfield, New Jersey Baldwin, Louisiana Pueblo, Colorado Germantown, Pennsylvania Wyncote, Pennsylvania Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Oberlin, Ohio Glen Elyn, Illinois North Freedom, Sauk County, Wisconsin La Grange, Missouri Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California Neshaminy Creek & Upper Delaware River, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Delaware River Meadows, Tinicum Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Join in the fun and help us count for the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 18, 2016., how many birds you might see in your own Backyard Bird Feeder. Some birders choose to stay home instead of going out into the field. You too can participate by observing your backyard bird feeders and counting local visitors in the comfort and warmth of your own home drinking Hot Chocolate. These counts have certain guidelines but are a welcome and very important addition, to the science that 115 years of continuous data collection is done and supported by the National Audubon Society.
Feel free to print out a PDF Backyard Birds Feeder Form Click Here. This Feeder Form applies ONLY to the Westport CT CBC Count Circle. For detailed information about the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count 2016 Click here.
Westport, CT CBC Christmas Bird Count Sunday, December 18, 2016
This year is the 70th Annual Westport Christmas Bird Count, and the 117th anniversary of the National Audubon CBC concept. This fall has been pretty exciting for Connecticut birders with a number of unusual species being seen in our area. CBC participants are looking forward to finding the unusual and the commonplace too, as all birds count on a CBC.
The CBC tradition has volunteer bird watchers at all levels of experience spend all or part of one day, around the Holiday season, going out into the field in various locations within the local Count Circle. Teams of observers will canvas many local hot spots. The object is to identify and count each species of bird they see and to record how many of each type they see in one day.
The Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count is conducted during a 24-hour period (rain, sleet, snow, or shine) from midnight to midnight, Sunday, December 18th, 2016. The intent of the count is to locate, identify, and count all wild birds found within a 15-mile diameter count circle, centered at Westport’s twin Bridges on Route 57. The Westport Count also includes Norwalk, Weston, Easton, Fairfield and New Canaan. Small groups of birdwatchers, led by a Captain, scour pre-assigned territories in order to maximize coverage. Others conduct backyard feeder counts in the same areas. Data collected (as well as totals from 17 other counts in Connecticut) is submitted to the National Audubon Society.
Count participants (observers) range in birding ability from pigeon-feeders to “Olympic Champions”. ALL ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE. Westport CBC Count Week is Thursday 12/15 through Wednesday 12/21. Generally experienced birders are paired with those who have less experience. Most observers start looking for birds at sunrise (7am), but some go out several hours earlier searching for owls and rails. Some make a daylong affair, others participants for just two or three hours. Field activity tends to wind down at sundown.
Remember the CBC is supposed to be fun, so stay safe. Drive carefully; watch your step, stay off private property unless arrangements have been made, wear appropriate clothing and footwear. If you are just getting started in birding or have tons of experience and think you want to join a CBC field team.
Backyard Feeder Counts: Some birders also choose to stay home, but they too can participate by observing their backyard bird feeders and counting local visitors. These counts have certain guidelines but are welcome additions to the science that 113 years of continuous data collection supported by the National Audubon Society. Feeder forms can be obtained by going to Backyard Feeder Form.
The CBC results are published in AMERICAN BIRDS online magazine along with the input from 1700 other counts conducted nationwide and throughout the Americas. This is the longest running annual census of bird populations in the country, thanks to the some 44,000 thousand birdwatchers who volunteer their efforts.
After the count this year CBC observers then will gather at 6pm to tally the results and join in on a potluck dinner celebration to discuss the highlights of the day.
The beautiful fall weekend was in late October and the Cape May Fall Birding Festival hosted by the Cape May Bird Observatory (fondly know as CMBO) and The New Jersey Audubon Society was taking place in Cape May New Jersey. Hundreds of birders and nature enthusiasts of all stripes migrated to Cape May Island to partake in a wealth of bird related activities.
Early morning birders hit the morning flight at the Higbee Dike or combed the many trails at Higbee Beach State Park or Rea Farms to witness migrants dropping out of the dawn sky and dodging hawks to seek shelter in the fields and woods.
There was so much to do and see in a weekend.
Others gathered on the lower morning flight platform at Higbee Beach State Park
Many birders hit the paths through the meadows and the woods as the migration spectacle unfolded. In a small clearing, along a path near the upper Higbee Beach parking lot, 6 species of sparrows were seen in one small opening in less than 10 minutes.
It was like sparrow whack-a-mole, one species would pop up and disappear, to be replaced by another one or two, with no two of the same species in sight at the same time. There were warblers, vireos, grosbeaks, and thrushes and more surprises to find too.
Information on the Cape May Fall Festival was available on line, in the New Jersey Travel Booth on the Garden State and at the registration table in the Grand Hotel.
A Boat-tailed Grackle displays for the visitors passing by on there way to Cape May.
Hawk watchers were drawn to the platform at Cape May Point state park.
Expert guides lead groups and help with bird ID pointers and where to look for them.
Later in the day the Cape May Lighthouse Hawk watch platform produced a steady stream of raptors and other assorted birds throughout the days. Many birders stopped at the platform at least once during there visit and if you were patient, you could meet every birder in Cape May sometime during the weekend.
Optic experts were on hand to give field demo’s and show how to use a scope with a DSLR.
If you dallied long enough on the platform you might run into tour operators and genuine birding celebrities.
And a legend.
Hawk banding demo under the pavilion next to the Cape May Point Hawk watch. Makes you wonder why anyone has a problem telling the large Cooper Hawk from the smaller Sharp-Shinned.
There were organized activities for most birding areas at various times during the day, and many took advantage of them. Independent parties also were encouraged to visit various areas and detailed maps and guides were provided by CMBO/NJAudubon and at the Convention Center.
Butterfly watchers would visit meadows and parks to seek the many species, all would notice the numerous monarchs and dragonflies also on migration.
And famous authors became bird guides once they were in the field.
The number of organized bird adventures being offered throughout the weekend sometimes attracted a crowd of participants. One could walk the Meadows with Pete Dunn or do the Beanery or simply gaze out into Delaware Bay or the Atlantic for terns and all manner of migrating water birds by the thousands.
Some would scan the ocean and bay rips to glimpse a jaeger among the terns and gulls. Southbound streams of migrant ducks, cormorants, terns and gannets were noted over the Atlantic by diligent sea watchers. One could go on a sea watching boat trip or take a tour through the marshes on a shallow water vessel guided by expert leaders.
The beauty of Cape May is that one could hit key areas, known to insiders as the Platform, Lilly Pond, Bunker Pond, The Meadows, Hidden Valley Ranch, Higbee Beach area, Rea Farms, Avalon Sea Watch, Poverty Beach, Sunset Beach and other beaches, each with a different cast of avian characters and do them well all in a single long weekend.
Sapsucker Right over the entrance door to the CMBO building near Lily Lake.
A walk along the quiet streets of West Cape May might turn up a migrant or fifty especially if you run across a “magic tree”. You might even see a migrant Monarch or a Dragonfly.
The Cape May Convention Center, re-opened after an extensive rebuild, had numerous birding related exhibitors showing off their wares and promoting their causes. Optics, Travel and Tour Operators, and Conservation organizations, with others filled the hall and attracted a steady stream of visitors who jammed the isles looking at exhibits and talking to people at the displays and networking.
You could meet tour operators and dream of far off places.
You could try out optics and get practical advice from seasoned field ornithologists.
There seemed to be something for everyone, the hawk presentation was a big draw for young birders.
At Convention Hall, there were bird and nature related crafts for sale, a silent action art work in a beautiful light and airy space adjacent to the exhibit hall.
A recognition of outstanding services.
New Jersey Audubon and CMBO out did it’s self for this three day festival; the evening programs of book signing & sales, networking & cocktails, and the Keynotes alone were worth the price of admissions. The overall organization was excellent, and the camaraderie was infectious.
There was so much to do and see in a weekend starting off with The Woedoggies, performed at the Rusty Nail for CMBO’s Cape May Fall Birding Festival Kickoff Party, in Cape May, NJ.
Books were for sale and one could meet the authors and get their books signed.
Meet famous authors.
Get more books.
More famous authors
There were plenty of non-bird things to do in Cape May too. It would be impossible to ignore the beautiful beaches, Cape May Point lighthouse, stroll the boardwalk, bycle rides and the famous victorian architecture, after all Cape May Island is the oldest seashore resort in the country; and there multiple eateries with good food at all price points.
The Cape May Fall Festival was truly a memorable happening. It was not just the birds, it was the gathering of a large, diverse group of people sharing their interest in all things bird and nature, in a very nice place, at the perfect time of year. Do yourself a favor and and don’t miss the next Cape May Fall Festival. The birding and scenery wasn’t bad either.
NEWS Reel Clip INTERVIEW click below on a new feature called SCOOPS™ 2015 Cape May Fall Festival trade show at Convention Hall.
What in world are you hanging around for? Get off your branch and fly right down and click on this link here Cape May Fall Festival! and sign up for this years 2016 that marks the 40th Anniversary of the Cape May Bird Observatory, the Cape May Hawk watch, and the 70th Anniversary of the New Jersey Audubon Annual Fall Meeting – a three day event from October 21st to the 23rd 2016.
Check out the eatery’s in Cape May NJ ~ Click here on BirdFoodForPeople™
Looking for Social Media or Photography coverage for your next event, please consider contacting KymryGroupMedia
We planned our Sanibel visit for weeks. The day we arrived an absolutely off the wall visitor from Africa also dropped in. A Great White Pelican, a denizen of the old world, with a range centered on Africa was found roosting amongst a flock of American White Pelicans in the J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Local residents and bird experts Lillian and Don Stokes alerted us to this bird after it was conclusively identified by Judith Davis, a long time birder and roving naturalist for J. N. Ding Darling NWR.
February 28 – March 1, 2016.
This is not an easy bird to miss. It weighs approximately over 30 pounds, for reference, the Brown Pelican average weight is 8.2 pounds and the American White Pelican weighs in around 16.5 pounds. While the Great White Pelican does superficially resemble the American White Pelican, there were a number of key differences. This Great White Pelican, likely a breeding condition female, had an overall pinkish cast. The bill was multi-colored with yellow, blue and red , there was a yellowish wash on the breast and massive legs were pinkish. Most notable was a pronounced bulbous protrusion between the upper bill and crown, and the soft tissue color around the eye was large and orange.
This was the first recorded sighting of the species in North America. It was not known how the bird got to Sanibel, speculation ranged from escaped bird from zoo or collection, ship assisted ocean transit, hurricane driven, or simply a hop across the South Atlantic like the Cattle Egret before it. The bird had no leg bands. The wing feathers were not cut. The bird was capable of feeding in the wild, sustained flight, and was able to socialize with the American White Pelicans. There were, at last report, no records of errant GWP’s from North American Zoos and other collections of exotic waterfowl.
Is this a good species? Time and the official ornithological reviews will tell. The bird was well seen by hundreds of birders over the course of three days. It flew off mid-day on the third day and has not been seen anywhere by anyone on the public record since then. The question of legitimacy of the species as a countable bird in North America rests with the Florida Ornithological Society report and subsequent review of their findings by the American Birding Association, ABA.
Certainly anyone who saw the bird will not soon forget it, and it sure looked and acted like a wild bird. The greatest mystery is how a 22 pound white bird with a wingspan approaching a California Condor can fly away on clear day and simply vanish. Perhaps the bird joined migrating American White Pelicans that were beginning to move north at the time, or perhaps a future search of museum and institutional records will find the specimen of the first Great White Pelican to reach North America. In the old days many a bird was collected for museum records or to control the spread of disease, I personally hope that this is not the case, however if there is a specimen, blood or tissue studies could be used to conclusively determine the origin of the bird.
Additional Interview with Judith Davis talking about the Great White Pelican on BirdCallsRadio Click Here: BirdCallsRadio: Judith Davis, Great White Pelican