Sunday, August 9, 2015

ABA Camp Avocet 2015; Guest Blog #1

Now for something completely different! Last week Tim was in Delaware with ABA's Camp Avocet, and since my blog is so lame, I have begged him to spice it up to bring in more readers.  Take it away!

Hi, I’m Tim, David’s son, and I’d like to share my experience at Camp Avocet, an ABA Young Birder’s camp. These posts will be mainly for people going to Camp Avocet next summer so that they’ll know what to expect. I had an absolutely spectacular time with experienced young birders like me, and would be a great opportunity for any birder between ages 13 and 18 to become part of the young birding community. 
Camp Avocet is based at the Virden Retreat Center in Lewes, Delaware (pronounced Lewis) and we go on many field trips to local and famous hotspots around there. Delaware is a major staging place for migrating shorebirds and a great place to find breeding terns, so the camp is focused on those families. Delaware also is the northern reach of some southeastern songbirds, so we get many opportunities to see these specialties.
Campers arriving at the Philadelphia Airport have to first survive the treacherous 2-3 hour drive to Lewes, still a short drive compared to campers driving from Massachusetts (that’s me!). After a long day of traveling, some campers arriving before dinner are treated to a walk around the Virden Center, producing large numbers of Blue Grosbeak (a lifer for me) and a couple White-eyed Vireos. Oh, did I forget to mention the heat? Delaware might have no forest whatsoever, and incredibly humid days, but I felt none of it because I was having so much fun!
After dinner (the food at the center is excellent), we took the vans to Cape Henlopen State Park for a view of the sunset at “The Point.” We were lucky to find many Royal Terns (another lifer), a Common Loon (rare at this time), Spotted Sandpipers, a Black Scoter on the beach, Ruddy Turnstones, Common Nighthawks “beenz”-ing, and surprising numbers of Orchard Orioles. Here's our eBird list.
Our dorms were arranged into two buildings separate from the Virden Center and you would be paired with one or two other campers that are around your age. My roommate and I happened to both be from Massachusetts, so we shared stories about the birds we had seen before.

I believe I’ll be doing a post for the next 6 days for every day I was at Camp Avocet. So until Day 2, adios!

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