Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Super Bowl of Birding "Awards"

Our Super Bowl of Birding weekend has come and gone and it was a blast. We finished fourth in species count and sixth in point total. Not bad! Reports and perspectives on our weekend can or will be found at 10,000 Birds, Picus Blog, The Drinking Bird, and The Owl Box. In this season of unnecessary awards ceremonies, I thought I’d do my report a little differently. So here I present the first (and possibly annual) Super Bowl of Birding awards:

Best Bird of the Trip – While I may argue that it was the fleeting glimpse of my life Dovekie, I think the Northern Hawk Owl in Center Harbor, NH is the clear winner. It put on a tremendous show for us on Friday afternoon. I couldn’t seem to find it’s nest though!

“Boo Bird” Award – On our NJ Audubon van trips, we always nominate a “boo bird.” This is the bird that was the biggest disappointment. I’m going to award it to a Saturday bird and a Sunday bird. On Saturday, it was the YB Sapsucker who didn’t show at its regular feeder during the 20 minutes we waited – 5 points missed. On Sunday, the obvious “winner” is the missing Ivory Gull.
The Mario Andretti Award goes to Christopher. Our fearless leader was truly fearless behind the wheel. We zipped down narrow New England roads, through ice and snow, between cars, and over small children. Yet, he managed to do it without even a scratch on the rental car.

“Best Use of Humor While Freezing His Butt Off” goes to Nate. With temps dipping well below freezing, Nate said that even his teeth were cold. Yet, no matter how cold and windy it got, he still kept up his good humor. He also made several Simpsons references, which I feel is required on all birding trips. Lifers have a way of keeping you happy too!

Crazy Digiscoper Award – Corey is the clear winner. I’ve never seen someone spend so much time digiscoping Rock Pigeons. Just kidding, but he did take some tremendous pictures and spent an inordinate amount of time reviewing the pics in his viewfinder.

The Most Enthusiastic Award goes to Quintus for his constant use of superlatives (and sometimes colorful language) to express his joy at seeing so many awesome birds. He also did a swan dive into the snow to celebrate after we photographed some WW Crossbills.

Stupidest Blogger – That goes to me – for not bringing my 300mm lens and camera. It seemed to make sense when I made the decision… we’ll be running and gunning, no time for photos, yadda yadda yadda… I was so wrong. I deserve all the ribbing I got for that. That’s why we have next year… Another blogger received several votes in this category due to a misplaced wallet.

Food of the Trip – It’s a tie between York Peppermint Patties and pizza. We had some great pizza on Friday and then were fed semi-good pizza on Saturday at the awards ceremony. Corey and I both had moments of brilliance in bringing the Peppermint Patties with us.

Least Visited Place - The clear winner here is THE BATHROOM. I don't mind using the woods, but the places we visited didn't have many private areas to tend to my business.

Well that's it! The weekend was great and I'll definitely be going back next year.


Christopher said...

I like your approach on this one.

A close runner-up for the Boo Bird award goes to that d@#% King Eider.

"Stupidest Blogger" award has been reviewed by the panel of judges and it has been decided that this category is going to be removed from the ceremony. In consolation, Patrick will be named the winner in the "Been there, done that" category, for having birded in New England in the past, and getting a lot of those life birds prior to this trip (And remembering many of the locations!)

Next year, I promise I'll make more bathroom stops (it's not like there aren't plenty around, I just kept zooming by them in pursuit of the next bird!)

Next year we OWN this competition!

Mike said...

Nice awards ceremony, Patrick. And yes, you deserve ribbing for not bringing your camera!!!

Christopher, I agree with your assessment. Next year, the Bloggerhead Kingbirds are clearly winning it all.

Owlman said...

Well played Patrick!

Most imitated/hummed song of the trip – Rock Lobster (B52’s)

Most elusive point bird – Eastern Blue bird. We had several team sighting combinations of Bluebird during competition day, although we were unable to get three people into it at the same time, even after several U-turns

Most fanatical Bloggerhead Kingbird fan/s – All of our significant others OF COURSE!

Best musical of the trip – The sound of music

The most relieved moment of the trip – Patrick finding my wallet

Blond moment of the trip – Me 'losing' my wallet

Patrick Belardo said...

@Christopher: I'm ok with less bathroom stops as long as you inform the residents of Essex County that I will be using their property.

@Quintus: GREAT additions!