Friday, March 13, 2009

A Reminder to Bird Safely

Take a look at this story and photos from a local birder about his accident while birding on a popular jetty here in NJ. It's a reminder to never bird alone or be very careful when you do!


OpposableChums said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OpposableChums said...

My own jetty story is decidedly less bruising: I was at the beginning of one of my annual two-week bird treks down the East Coast. Somewhere north of Cape May (Day One), my field guide fell into a crevice in the jetty.

In those days, I travelled with only one guide, and that one had my records in it. Attempts to reach it with my hand proved fruitless. I removed a sock and shoe, and was able to graze the book with my toes, but couldn't extract it.

It occurred to me that the spatial difference could be accounted for by the resistance at the crotch of my jeans. As I was completely alone, I removed my pants and handily retrieved my field guide.

It was, of course, at that very moment that a pretty young birder came over a dune to spy me apparently pantlessly purusing a Peterson's. She beat an understandably panicked retreat, and I learned to be VERY careful on jetties.

That's the comedy; the tragic tale you've brought us today ain't funny at all. Jetties are DANGEROUS! Let us ALL be careful!

Kallen305 said...

I CANNOT even imagine!!!!! OMG!!

The pictures tell it all. I will be more cautious going forward. I am not near oceans but rivers with swift currents. Sometimes you get so caught up in birding that common sense goes out the window. At least for me anyways.

Susan said...

Barnegat Jetty always seemed to me somewhat more dangerous than others. The rocks are slightly further apart (and bigger), the wind seems stronger, and the waves seem higher.

I don't walk it anymore. The sand runs almost the entire length. I get to a spot I want to scramble up on, do it, and pretty much stay stationary at that point. Of course, that method means you don't get to inspect all the birds on the inlet side. But there's usually some crazy birder up on the rocks you can shout out to, and if he/she has something interesting, then you can scramble up.

Jennifer Hanson said...

I've become a big fan of walking on the sand as much as possible at Barnegat. Yes, trudging through the sand is tiresome, but it's not as physically and mentally strenuous as rock-hopping out and back on the jetty (which I did last month there, but the weather was good and the rocks were relatively dry). It's a long jetty, too, and the longer you rock-scramble, the more tired you get. The more tired you get, the easier it is to take a fall. Never mind birdy districtions.

This was a scary story and I'm very glad Howard not only survived in one piece, but actually was able to compose poetry about it afterward!

Gallicissa said...

That is bad!
Let this be a good eye-opener for those lone birders.

I often find myself birding alone and I know it is not good. Rock hopping is so dangerous and I never do that. One of the biggest dangers I fear in the rain forests here is dead branches/huge fruits falling from heights of about 45m!

Patrick Belardo said...

Gallicissa, yes that sounds dangerous!!! By the way, there was a TV show on about Sri Lanka last week here in the US. It was "No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain." He travels to different countries and eats their cuisine. Sri Lankan cuisine looks awesome!

Rick said...

Yeah, that is a scary jetty, and I'm glad it wasn't worse than it turned out to be for Howard.
The North Shore jetties are much easier to walk--seductively so, as I discovered one winter day at Shark River when a particularly high wave washed above my knees. I hightailed it out of there, grateful I hadn't been swept away.