Hour on the Tower Feed

A Classic Hour on Tower Count

Img161Back in 2003, an Hour on the Tower team led by Stiles Thomas led an assault on the record 42 species seen in one hour.

I found the following entry in my journal from October 2003 and posted it here in 2011. In light of the recent record-tying effort, I share it here.

It's the story of the Hour on the Tower crew's attempt to beat the previous Celery Farm record for species seen in an hour, held by Stiles Thomas, Gordon Schultze and Charlie Mayhood.

The 2003 attempt was likely one of the first times that the Hour on the Tower was held at Pirie. I post it virtually verbatim.

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My New Column: Hour on the Tower

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My latest column for The Record and USA Today New Jersey is all about the recent record-breaking Sunday -- and what makes this weekly event at the Celery Farm so enduring.

A big thank you to Kevin Watson for the amazing infra-red photo (above) taken on that record-breaking morning. It did not run with the column, alas.

You can download a pdf of the column here:

Download J Wright Bid Watcher RecordBergenEdition_20201001_LF03_3

Or read it here:

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Historic Hour on the Tower Today

IMG-6874For the first time in history, it was an all-woman Hour on the Tower this morning.

Working in icy temperatures at the Warden's Watch, Gaby Schmitt, Julie McCall and Anne Keating Alfandre saw 14 species -- pretty awesome for a frozen lake this time in January.

As you can see from the photo, I really look up to all three.

(Congrats, Julie, Gaby, and Anne!)

Amazing Pix of Peregrine at Celery Farm

Walt Staab took some incredible shots of a young Peregrine Falcon flying over the Celery Farm's Lake Appert just before the Hour on the Tower this morning.

Walt was nice enough to share them here.  Walt writes:

"It was harassed for a while by smaller birds, and it even frightened a duck enough for the duck to dive quickly to avoid attack [see below, top right photo]. The falcon rested for a bit in a tree then flew past the Pirie-Mayhood Tower, presenting me with some nice photos -- GREAT experience!"

BTW, they didn't used to call Peregrines "duck hawks" for nothing!

Entire sequence is below. 

(Thanks, Walt!)

Hour on the Tower Report from Early April 2007

Note: This was supposed to be one of the first posts on my blog ever, nine years ago, but I never posted it for some reason. I post it now for historical value:

Birders at the Celery Farm have a tradition known as the Hour on the Tower, and it has started up once again for 2007.

The idea is for a group to assemble at an observation platform and see how many different species they can see in exactly hour. The group typically gets together at 8 a.m. on the Celery Farm's Pirie Platform, and attendance can range from one or two to a dozen people of assorted birding skills.

If you like birding and a bit of banter -- and don't cringe at getting up early on a Sunday -- check it out.

(List of 25 species, also including Rusty Blackbird and American Bittern, follows.)

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