“Twitchers in the Rye” Superbowl of Birding Results

Posted on March 10, 2015

by Pam Hunt

On January 25, one day after a snow storm, the “Twitchers in the Rye” took part in the 2015 Superbowl of Birding. The team included Becky Suomala, Pat Myers, Andrea Robbins, and myself, and in a significant departure from the other teams operating in New Hampshire, we restrict ourselves entirely to the town of Rye. This can be good and bad: good because we spend a lot less time driving from one end of Rockingham County to the other, and bad because we obviously don’t get as many species and points as the teams that do. But we have fun, raise money for New Hampshire Bird Records, and have an awesome team name. This year we netted 59 species and 100 points –both essentially at the average for our seven attempts.

Twitchers in the Rye birding team

The 2015 Twitchers in the Rye (clockwise, Andrea Robbins, driver Becky Suomala, captain Pam Hunt, and Pat Myers), ready to make a mad dash to the compilation in our borrowed truck, January 25, 2015. Photo by Pam Hunt.

Red-shouldered Hawk

This adult Red-shouldered Hawk, found during scouting, went missing the day of the Superbowl, but the Twitchers found an immature nearby. Photo by Andrea Robbins, 1/18/15, Rye, NH.

Our highlights this year were a Gray Catbird, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Winter Wren (all three are four-point birds). It was also nice to find the continuing female Harlequin Duck at Concord Point (although it took us two tries). A couple of us found Red-throated Loons but couldn’t get a third team member on them. We made a quick stop at Rye Harbor State Park, where I’m sure a group of four people with scopes ignoring the Snowy Owl on the restroom room was perplexing to the Owl Paparazzi.

We did deviate from our usual Rye restriction when word got out about a Gyrfalcon feeding on a Herring Gull in Seabrook – but we were only out of Rye for 35-40 minutes and didn’t count it for our totals (we need to stick to principles after all).

Read the expanded summary, see the full list of species, or look at past years’ results. You can still make a donation on-line or contact Becky Suomala, rsuomala@nhaudubon.org or 603-224-9909 x309.