Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bird-day Birding.

I turned __ty-three last Saturday, Oct. 24th. I'm one of those people who prefers a quiet celebration..no surprises, no fuss, no whoop-de-doo-dah. My wife was well aware of these conditions that I imposed even before we decided to get married. My version of a pre-nup agreement, if you will. One thing I will definitely acquiesce to do on my birthday is go birding. That is almost a given.

So off to Legg Lake we went unaware that there were picnics being held by SEIU and the Immanuel Korean Baptist Church there - separately, of course. Thankfully, the area southeast of Restroom 7 where sightings of interesting birds happens every year was spared of all the commotion by the picnickers. There we met three birders with binoculars trained at the towering sycamore tree. We quickly joined them and asked the inevitable question, "Anything interesting?" Lots of Yellow-rumped and Black-throated Gray Warblers was the answer. 

Indeed the sycamore was a beehive of activity (I wonder if that is an appropriate analogy..but then a "bird's nest of activity" doesn't quite cut it.). Warblers were practically dripping off the branches. It became a Herculean effort to look at everyone of these flitting, constantly moving little birds with the hope that one of them would turn out to be neither Yellow-rumped nor Black-throated Gray. It was luck that I saw a Townsend's and happily informed the other three birders my discovery. 

It was serendipity -which made my heart do a little jig - when I then saw (and even photographed..woohoo!) a Hermit Warbler! Which I proudly pointed out to my now admiring fans.

I have mentioned in my previous blogs of those birders, whom my wife lovingly refers to as "angels", who would really go out of their way to show us the uncommon birds or the species that we came to that place to see. Most birders follow the "pay-it-forward" rule. This time we were so glad to be the "angels" to this less-experienced-than-us birding trio.

We continued to play the role of angels as we pointed out the single Ring-necked Duck associating with a flock of Ruddys. Then there was the lone Gadwall, swimming in the distance trying to look like a female Mallard.

At the end of about three hours, we have already tallied 38 species and for me that was how I wanted to celebrate my birthday. I'm very happy with that. We had a quick lunch and I looked forward to have this ___ty-three year old body take an afternoon nap.

For more birding blogs and photos, please check out:


mick said...

Definitely my kind of celebration! Glad you got your bird(s) too and could share them.

Felicia said...

Happy birthday, Bob!

I might be going out on a limb here, but there's a chance that Hermit Warbler of yours might actually be a Black-throated Green-- the streaks on its breast, and the greenish cast on its back (at least on my browser) seem suggestive. And I'm not sure an immature male (who would have those markings on his face) would also have so much black on his throat.

I may be totally wrong about this, but this could be an even better birthday than you thought. In either case, glad you have a great day out!

Unknown said...

Happy Belated Birthday.

Anonymous said...

A most excellent birthday celebration, and great birds!

Neil said...

Great way to spend your birthday.

Larry Jordan said...

I think I will spend the rest of my birthdays just like that Bob. Whether you decide you have a Hermit Warbler or a Black-throated Green there, you are to be congratulated for sharing it and, along with Cynthia, being the angels de jour.

Happy Birthday!

Chris Petrak said...

I'm jealous of your warbler pics!

Jann said...

Oh nice warbler-viewing birthday! And nice photos! BTW, Oct. is the perfect mo. for birthdays (3 guesses why I say this). Warblers are on my birder bucket list.

NatureFootstep said...

Sounds like you had a great day out among the lovely birds. Thanks for shoving them :)

eileeninmd said...

What a great way tospend your birdthday! And you saw some great birds and photos!