The Joppa Flats Education Center is hosting the Superbowl of Birding X on Saturday, January 26, 2013 – 5am to 5pm (Snow date: Sunday, January 27). Teams will consist of 4-7 individuals and must remain together for the entire contest. No splitting of teams is allowed. Teams must preregister for the contest. Each species on the official contest checklist has a point value of 1-5 based on the perceived difficulty of finding the species at this time of year. The team that amasses the greatest number of points will be declared The Nikon Joppa Cup winner. Each species may only be counted once. Each team must check in at the designated site by 5:30 p.m. of the contest day.
A team, known as the “Noddies,” from the North Branch Nature Center will again participate. This is the fifth year that young birders and adults from central Vermont have driven down to the Massachusetts coast for this great event. Here’s an excerpt from last year’s trip report:
Slowly working their way north, by late afternoon the Noddies had reached Plum Island, considered one of the finest birding locales in New England. Here, on the rolling sand dunes and extensive marshes, the Noddies would complete their quest. From a single spot along the main road, two Snowy Owls could be seen sitting upon the barren, snowless landscape. A flock of hundreds of shorebirds chased the breaking waves along the beach. And as the sky became infused with pink and purple at dusk, a Short-eared Owl could be seen cruising the fields, hunting under the shadows of the setting sun. After twelve hours of birdwatching, the Noddies raced to the finish line with a total of 66 species and 124 points.
The Noddies participated in this exciting event, centered around Plum Island in Massachusetts, the past 4 years cumulatively tallying 85 species! This year, the group may extend their trip to be a full weekend, so it’s never too early to start thinking about it! To be guaranteed a spot on the team, please register by Dec. 21.