Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wandering Mind On A Wicked Windy Winter Day

I thought Saturday was going to be a nice day with temperatures in the 40's but I wasn't counting on the wind. As I was taking this photo the wind blew my tripod and scope over.
After I took this photo a wave crashed over the rocks getting me and my camera wet. That was the last attempted photo of the day. If these gulls could talk English they would probably say " Just go home you foolish human-you're not one of us!" 

I was determined to find at least 2 new species. Just as I'm certain there must be some form of life outside of earth in our vast universe, I also know that there's got to be species of birds at Hammonasset that I hadn't seen yet.

 I spent my time wandering around wondering if I'd ever find something new. Birding was extremely slow and  my mind started to wander. It was full of scattered thoughts like fallen leaves blowing about in the wind. I wondered what can I post about with no photos and no birds? 

I started jotted down a few thoughts in the notebook as they came to me. 

I know I'm going to find my first Saw-whet Owl today so what should the post title be? I know- Some where I saw a Saw-whet". I was convinced that if I looked through enough cedar groves that this would be the day that I found a Saw-whet Owl. 

Birding proverbs-When it comes to birds seeing is believing but sometimes you have to believe to see them. I was going to come up with birding proverbs for a post but lost interest after I gave up on finding the owl.

Birding tips-On windy days look for sheltered areas out of the wind to find pockets of birds. Nope, can't think of any more right now.

I never see any birds down this trail and my instincts tell me I won't now so I'll go against my instincts and give it a try: I walked down one of my least favorite park trails where I rarely find anything. To my surprise, there was good number of shorebirds there but I couldn't positively identify them with my binoculars because they were too far away-which led to my next thought. 

Does anybody remember the show Match Game from the 70's? How about Match Game for birders?
-Larry the birder walked all the way to the end  of a long, long trail. When he realized that there were shorebirds too distant for him to identify with binoculars, Larry said to himself:
  Why didn't you bring your.... ________________?

Self motivation-At least I'm getting exercise I thought to myself as I took a long walk back to my truck to get my scope and then went all the way out to the end of the trail again. At least it paid off because I finally managed to add one species to my list: # 89 Black-bellied Plover.

As I walked back from the trail I was greeted by a boisterous Black-capped chickadee bouncing from branch to branch and calling out to me. I thought to myself- Feathered friends will come and go but you can always count on a chickadee...

The weather grew a little more tolerable as the morning went on. I managed to find 2 more before my day was done-Savannah Sparrow and Surf Scoters. It was a slow day of birding but I managed to up my total to 91. 

On Sunday I walked a mile near my home to find a single Red-winged Blackbird. When I returned home a Red-shouldered Hawk flew over my house crying out "keeyar keeyar keeyar". It was the easiest find of the weekend.  It took some work but at least I made some progress. I'm at 93 now so I'm hoping to reach 95 next weekend.

 Big January List 2013


Jen Sanford said...

Yes it's entertaining how your mind can wander when alone out looking for birds... I like the birding proverbs idea, hope you add to it. Congrats on 93!

Larry said...

Jen-I do have a tendency to come up with lots of ideas but following through with them is another story.

Cathy said...

You've covered a lot of ground here, Larry :)

Now regarding this : "Just as I'm certain there must be some form of life outside of earth in our vast universe."

Have to admit that at my advanced years I've almost given up on the hope of being around for that eureka moment.

And . . . speaking of 'eureka moments' (clever segue:)

I had White-winged Crossbills on my birdbath !

PS. Are your scope and camera OK ?

Larry said...

crossbills in your bird bath-wow! That was one of my misses at Hammonasset. The scope is okay-I'll have to see about the camera.

Unknown said...

The chickadees keep the backyard alive around here. I don't count the house sparrows. They're little more than rats with wings.
Glad you didn't destroy your equipment that outing.
I liked your list. I hope writing it made up for a quiet birding day.
Your fantasy about the marching cactus gives me a bit of a shiver. Well thought out.

June said...

Gosh, I've never kept a year list. This might be a good year to start!

Larry said...

-flying rats-now that's something I wouldn't want to see.

June-I only do it for January. Maybe when I reach retirement age I'll try a year list.

Noushka said...

Yep, sometimes you can cover long distances without any luck and some days it's one species after another!
I hope your equipment has not suffered,I would freak out if my 500mm lens fell! LOL!
Noooo I am not laughing, it could very well happen one day.... :(
Nice reading your post!

eileeninmd said...

No luck on the Saw-whet Owl? I would love to see one! Maybe next time! Sounds like you are doing good with your big January. Congrats on the 93.

Larry said...

Noushka-Thanks-My camera is only a $300 point and shoot but it's the only camera I have right now so I hope it works okay when I use it next weekend.The scope is fine.

Eileen-No luck with the Saw-whet.I keep looking though.

troutbirder said...

Just like life in general their will be days when it hard to make progress on much of anything...:)

Larry said...

troutbirder-I guess that about sums it up.

Crafty Green Poet said...

glad you found some birds. I was out earlier today and had amazing views of velvet scoters, not a new bird for me, but always a delight to see.

CabinGirl said...

I laughed aloud when I read your post, Larry. I love stream-of-consciousness writing and you really nailed it on the head.

Congrats on listing so many species in just one month - impressive!

Unknown said...

Bravo, good job :-) I got my first really long look at a Belted Kingfisher yesterday, where I have never found birds before..ya' just never know..

Larry said...

Crafty Green Poet-Great name for a bird- Velvet Scoter.

CabinGirl-That's a kind way of putting- it stream-of-consciousness writing.-thanks

Cindy-it's great that your checking out different under-birded areas. I like doing that too.

Kathie Brown said...

You have to be a brave and hardy soul to bird in new England in the winter! BRRRRRrrrrr! I can just feel that wind off the water! BRRRR! I love your sense of humor and the way your mind wanders!