Easy Like Sunday Morning

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At 4:00 a.m. the alarm clock sounded. Time to rise and shine! We had loaded the car the night before with the essentials: tally sheets, timer, thermometer, pencils, clipboard, binoculars, route sheet with GPS and physical landmarks of stops, water, and flashlights. At 4:20 a.m. we tossed in the last few things we needed - coffee, oatmeal bars, and apples - and hit the road. By 5:10 a.m. we reached our destination and had time for a quick cup of coffee before we began.
5:17 a.m. -- show time!

So what gets two relatively normal folks up and out of the house before the peep of day on a Sunday? Why the 2008 Breeding Bird Survey, of course. Fifty stops, 3 minutes per stop. Listen and look, tally the species and number of each observed. Treebeard is the official observer, I'm the assistant. Timekeeping and tallying are my jobs. Our 25-mile route goes through parts of three counties. We have found that Sunday morning is the best morning to accomplish the survey. Traffic is light and there isn't much in the way of farm equipment on the road. Since we are in the country, the people that do pass by tend to stop and see if everything is okay. We tell them what we're up to and they wish us luck and continue on. There is something reassuring about that :)

By 9:43 a.m. we're done. Time to head home and catch a nap before finishing the paperwork.


Susan said...

Hi! I saw "swamp4me" on Pure Florida's comments, and I had to come visit. My daughter used to tease me about my interest in swamps, big or small.

About the birds... I worked at a university in Macon, Georgia, that sent its students out periodically to do bird surveys. This seems like a difficult task, since the birds are probably hiding. :)

swamp4me said...

Hi Susan,
Glad you stopped by. The birds weren't too hard to find very first thing this morning. They were singing away. As the temperature went up they became harder to find. The temps were in the upper 70s when we started and climbed to the lower 90s by the time we finished!

Marvin said...

Four o'clock in the AM is a good time for going to bed, not for getting up.

swamp4me said...

We are morning people but 4 AM doesn't qualify as morning in my book -- I like at least a little light ;)