Hour on the Tower Feed

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

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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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