On May 12th, I joined a team of Audubon NY staffers and volunteers in the annual Audubon New York Birdathon. The Birdathon is a fundraiser and citizen science effort that increases awareness of Audubon’s mission and raises valuable funds for leading conservation work throughout New York. There were two ways one could have participated: either by pledging to support a team or by joining it. Participants had the option of joining for all or part of the day’s birding activities and anyone regardless of their level of birding skill level could participate.
Some of the team members.
I decided to join the Long Island Team consisting of: Amanda Pachomski, Bill Keasler (guest), Diana Ngai, Julie Nelsen, Kathryn Burke (she was out at Orient), Kathryn D'Amico, Kayleigh Mahoney, Seren Bagcilar and Sharon Hirschhorn. It was a good group with a mixed skill level. I have participated in several Birdathons and birding competitions; this one was not as intense which was just fine with me. The team was very good at helping each other get on birds and slowly but surely our number of birds began to build. Our sites included, Caumsett State Park, Orient Beach State Park, Jones Beach Coast Guard Station, Tobay Beach, Patchogue NY, Big Egg Marsh Queens, Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, Forest Park Queens, Nassau County, Lefferts Blvd Queens (my Monk Parakeets nest stakeout) and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. I am sure I might have missed a few locations but you get the idea of how much ground was covered.
Team members looking for Piping Plovers at Jones Beach.
In the end we totaled 145 species seen and as of May 16th, our team, who I will christen "The Long Island Turnstones" were leading all other teams that participated. Donations to support our team could be made to : https://give.audubon.org/Giving/Page/192/1/192 look for Amanda Pachomski in the drop down list from the "choose your birder" field. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and put to good use. I am looking forward to next year where we will try even harder!