UPDATE: a little bit of popular press. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Not-the-Big-Game-but-contest-not-just-for-the-5399424.php Though, for the record, plenty of the Stanford birders actually really like football and enjoy going to The Big Game.
Stanford takes the victory! With a total of 76 species, our hale and hearty team of 10 edged out Berkeley’s team, who found 64 species. If you haven’t heard about it before, here are the details on this competition. And best of all, this was a green effort! We met at a single location and then divided ourselves up to cover the campus on foot.
After meeting and planning early this morning, the group split into three sub-teams: one for the Stanford dish trail, one for San Francisquito Creek, and one focusing on the main campus. The dish team came up big, finding Western Kingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, as well as Grasshopper, Savannah, and Lark Sparrows. The creek team found their own treasures, like Downy Woodpecker, Pygmy Nuthatch, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Yellow Warbler.
I led the main campus group. The biggest treat was my group, with Joan Zuckerman, Karen DeMello, and Jasen Liu all providing great spotting and even better company. As we studied sparrows in front of Bing Concert Hall, a White-throated Sparrow popped out! We weren’t expecting that. We did expect (and did find) other birds like California Thrasher, Hooded Oriole, White-throated Swift, and California Gull, but that didn’t keep us from appreciating them just as much!
All the groups reveled in the springtime chorus, with the shrill mews of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers exploding from the oaks, the deep blue backs of Western Bluebirds glowing in the sun, and the stammering chatter of White-throated Swifts peppering down from overhead. It was not a day I’ll soon forget.
If this is at all inspiring, we’re still taking sponsorships for local SF Bay Area youth nature education and conservation. Sponsor me or anyone else on the team from the pulldown tab at the SCVAS birdathon website.
Members: Rob Furrow, Carrie Ann (Caroline) Adams, Marion Krause, Marina Dimitrov, Ellyn Bush, Joan Zuckerman, Danny Karp, Karen DeMello, Mike Rogers, Jasen Liu.