The birds are conspiring against me. After the trip Up North, I was all set to be a responsible, non-birding adult who takes care of all those non-birding chores, duties, etc, and who generally uses his time wisely before jet-setting for Arizona in a couple weeks for…more bird gluttony. The birds have had other plans–they’ve been in my face.
For starters, FOYs are increasing exponentially. My year list doubled in the last couple weeks.
Some we are catching on arrival.
Some we are catching on departure.
Then there is the time-consuming documentation of good birds, FOY or otherwise, that comes along with responsible birding.
Of course, when an MOU-official county first-record shows up in the home county, you simply must go after it.
Even if it chooses an uninspiring place to land.
Even if it is an unambitious slug that hangs out ALL day in one spot and might be a sick bird.
Then there are birds you simply have to take time to look at, unless of course, no one read you E.B. White’s classic, The Trumpet of the Swan, when you were a kid.
Finally, there are birds that you cannot ignore even if you never venture out–yard birds. Last week I stayed home one day to take care of a sick Evan. Upon pulling in the driveway after going out to pick up soda crackers, 7-Up, and so on, Evan told me he thought he saw a Bald Eagle overhead. Not a rare sighting at our house, as it happens 2-3 times annually, but it was definitely a noteworthy sighting that caused me to get out of the car and look up. It was no hum-drum Eagle. I nearly felt the breath knocked out of me when I saw it cruise directly over the house under 100 feet up–a new yard bird and rare one at that, a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk! Normally I always have the camera with me in the vehicle. Instead, I raced into the house and got back in time for one shot to document this color-morph of an uncommon bird that is exciting anywhere, but all the more exciting because it graced our yard with its shadow.
Evan and I chased after this bird for better photos, but it just kept slipping away as it glided on the wind. I kept raving about what a cool find it was for our yard to which Evan replied, “You’re welcome, Dad.”