Sunday, 2 July 2017

World Series of Birding 2017 and Cape May, NJ, USA - early May 2017

The sun was setting over Ocean City, NJ on a cool Friday night in early May. As the series of bridges linking the mainland with the New Jersey barrier islands came into view it was time to contemplate the task ahead.

'Was the plan in place, will the schedule work, what's the back up and what's the destination at the end game? Did 'The Captain' pack the T-shirts for all? So many questions, but the most important of all...would the 'B' word be mentioned?' ...Brigantine!


Thoughts returned to the immediate journey as the lights turned green at the Parkway intersection (Garden State not Sheffield). Soon crossing the back bay as the neon glow began to take hold of the eastern seaboard, shattering the leaden sky. Most birds were flying to roost whilst for the night herons it was showtime. The driver received the instructions a few hours ago and was now near completion of this first set of tasks:


  1. Locate the base a block north of 5th and 2nd
  2. Park by the exit
  3. Take the equipment out of the trunk
  4. Head to the north of the building
  5. Find Room 1867 don't forget the equipment (and sandwiches)
  6. Remember the secret code, 'Gotta have a WAWA!'
  7. Be there for 1930

The downtown location was easy to find. Scaling the steps in a manner that would make a Mountain Goat jealous the recipient arrived at Room 1867 (that's the necessary Sheffield Wednesday reference dealt with). Rapped on the door in the style of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and after passing on the wisdom of buying a hoagie at WAWA, the base was revealed. A dim light coming from a side table captured the gathered souls in its path. Most of the gang were in place preparing for the 'Big Day' as it is known by some. The instruments for the next 24 - 30 hours strewn across the room- notepad with tables full of timings, the obligatory DeLorme and 'roof prisms' on the table. A bleeping cell phone alerting us that 'The Captain' would arrive in 30 minutes. Were we all ready?


As 'The Machine' and 'The Cyclist' scrutinised the DeLorme, last minute route calculations being thrown into the mix, all hell was suddenly let loose. On receiving another message 'The Deputy' who up to now was sitting calmly and silently by the window suddenly exclaimed, " 'The Captain' wants to go to Brig!"...

Thirty minutes passed, 'The Captain' arrived on cue and we were soon making our way out of the coastal resort heading north. As we crossed the nearby Cape May/Atlantic County line all of our phones went off simultaneously, each of us receiving the same message. The anonymous messenger demanded the following code be cracked before the midnight Great Swamp rendezvous!


DRIBING KAME FOOLS REISE GRATE DRAW GAIN


Yep, it was that time again, another attempt by Team 1000birds at the World Series of Birding. The above text may be a million miles away from a novel by Clancy or Forsyth (Fred not Bruce) and would even make Dan Brown cringe.


If you do want to find out how Team 1000 birds fared at WSB 2017 then please check out my trip report at 'Birding Trip Reports - Cape May, NJ, USA'.

Alternatively, please click on the following link - Cape May and World Series of Birding 2017.

It's a full trip report covering the birding week both before and after WSB as well, mainly in and around Cape May, NJ, USA. Birding video compilation to follow soon on my YouTube channel, enjoy.


  • Did Captain Nick go to Brig during the World Series of Birding? Click on the link to find out.
  • Go on, crack the 7-worded code!



Team 1000birds in action during the World Series of Birding 2017 - dipping a Red-headed Woodpecker! Captain Nick is happy - he's determined to go to Brigantine :)

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