Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friends and Birds

scenic overlook at Smokey's on the Gorge

New River Festival couldn't have been more perfect. Well, we could have done without the week of non-stop rain. But it was a great opportunity to meet friends (old and new) and see lots and lots of birds. I added nine life birds to my list:

Northern waterthrush

Louisiana waterthrush

Swainson's thrush

Yellow throated warbler

Chestnut sided warbler (this one made me cry - so beautiful and I had looked for it for three years - a special shout out to Keith who made it his mission to get me on this bird. Thanks, Keith! You are da' man.)

Bobolink (with a song like R2-D2 - unforgettable)

Yellow throated vireo

Black throated green warbler

Ruffed grouse

I did not see my target bird - Cerulean warbler. But I have a few more days visiting relatives in West Virginia, so I am hopeful.

We had lots of laughs - too many to post now. I will spread that out over the next few weeks.

Susan and Laura hamming it up for the camera.

I learned quite a bit thanks to our wonderful guides- Jeff Gordon, Julie Zickefoose, Keith Richardson, and Connie Toops. This was the first time I met Julie Z. in person although I have been reading her blog for a couple of years. On one field trip, she borrowed my bandana to dry the rain off her camera. I told her I would never wash it again. Yes, I am a starstruck bird groupie- Pete Dunne and Julie Zickefoose: my heroes.


RNKathleen said...

Glad you had a good time. Sorry the weather wasn't better. Enjoy your visit with Uncle Barry and Christy. See you soon. Love, Mom

Susan Gets Native said...

Julie is definitely hero-worship-worthy.
I'm home and trying to upload the 700! pictures I took!

T.R. said...

Loved meeting you Beth!!!! Julie is my hero too!

KatDoc said...

Julie Zickefoose? Who's that? Oh, wait - I think I know. Doesn't she own a dog?

Beth, you are my blog post for today. Phoebe says the chicken's name is Beverly.

~Kathi, blog-surfing at lunch (Thx, Panera!)

verif word:eyedshe, as in "eyedshe a bird, didshe?"

dguzman said...

I know just how you feel--Zick is a great hero to have!

I once grossly mis-ID'd a duck right in front of Pete Dunne while some Flockers and I were standing next to him, looking out the observation window at the Cape May Birding Org's gift shop. I STILL cringe every time I think of it.

jalynn01 said...

Beth, I felt like your 'sister' as soon as we met.You are such a happy vibrant person!! enjoyed the laughs we had! I couldn't wait to see what everyone will blog about New River. Did ya see Jeff Gordon put our links on his blog? yea man! That's what I call awesome. It is way cool to meet the people whose blogs we follow, like Julie Z and YOU!! Did you get your Cerulean?

KatDoc said...

Forgot to tell you: They deliberately hold back at least one of your target birds, in order to force you to come back!

~Kathi, who missed her Life Ruffed Grouse by one day

T.R. said...

And Timothy who missed his life Prairie Warbler every day!

Beth said...

Mom - thanks! I have LOTS of bird stories to bore you with!

Susan - I just got home, too and am too tired to upload pix or blog. Will do so tomorrow.

Tim - you are da' man. As well as a mean cow-bell player. Great meeting you and thanks for rescuing my camera!

Kathi - love your post on my stone chicken! LOL

Delia - I felt like such a groupie with Zick and Pete D. Glad I'm not alone! Missed you at the festival.

Jane - I LOVED meeting you, too. We clicked right away! That Jeff Gordon is the best, isn't he? And I did NOT get my Cerulean. More on that in a later post on my blog. But meeting you made up for it!

Kathi and Tim - I may have missed my cerulean, but I got 12 lifers on the trip and 91 species (which is almost half the total of my entire life list). It was an Awesome Trip.


Bird Girl said...

Hi Beth - guess I just didn't get to all the blogs I'm not used to visiting yet! It was so great to meet you and the rest of the flock! And wasn't that Smokies on the Gorge a beautiful, beautiful place?