Sunday, February 16, 2020

3 Rules: Early, Prepared, And Committed

I always enjoy my morning birding excursions when I follow 3 rules. My first rule is to be early

I'm there when the doors open at 6am for breakfast at Sarah's on Main. This morning I ordered a breakfast sandwich that was open-faced style with poached eggs, spinach, and avocado on sourdough toast.
 Next I followed the Connecticut River down to the fields. Along the way I saw some Mallards and Common Mergansers peacefully keeping company. There was still not enough light to show the twinkle in their eyes.
Rule 2 Be prepared: I was well prepared with my winter boots, dressed warmly, and fully equipped with all my gear, paper and pen. Unfortunately, everything all the water froze up overnight so it made it unlikely that I was going to find the teal and Wigeon that have been reported recently but being well prepared helped me to follow rule number 3.

Rule number 3 stay committed: After walking 1/2 a mile down the hill only to find a frozen swamp I could have easily just turned around and went back to the car. Instead, I stuck it out and was rewarded by seeing 3 new birds for the year: a Pileated Woodpecker far across the way in the top of one of the heron nesting trees, Red-winged Blackbirds eager to put the winter behind them, and a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker making a squeaky call whose noise saturated the surrounding woods.

Being early, prepared and committed almost always seems to pay off when I'm birding.

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