Saturday, August 8, 2009

Almost Fledging

Here are two of the four baby bluebirds giving my camera the stink-eye as I check their box. How about those white spots on their feathers? Like a fawn is spotted when it is young.


It has been a long and crazy summer. Too much going on in my life to spend quality time birding and hence, the paucity of posts.


But the backyard bluebird couple are successfully raising their brood of four in the little house my father built for my backyard. I will be moving on September first, ten miles north of where I currently live, and am anxious to see the bluebirds fledge so I can take down the house, clean it out and pack it up for the move. I have already cleaned and packed the birdfeeders, so even my backyard birding has quieted down. But I did get my first yard Baltimore Oriole last week. That brings my yard list up to 53. And this morning, drinking coffee on the deck while trying to figure out how to pack up Beverly the Stone Chicken, I saw a flash of white in the trees. Tree swallows? Went inside for the binoculars and was able to id a pair of Eastern Kingbirds playing tag at the edge of the yard. Cool - first kingbirds of the year.

I remember the first time I saw and identified a kingbird. It was perched on the post that holds up my clothesline. Do you remember the first time you see each of your species? Most of them stick with me. Like the Painted Bunting I first saw with my Uncle Jim while the deer flies ate me alive. Or the Prothonotary Warbler on the tree over the creek that I saw from the bridge overpass. Or the Veery I just got in the parking lot of the state park a few weeks ago. How about the Bobolink in the hay field in West Virginia with my peeps, The Flock. Or the red-winged blackbird that swooped in front of my car onto the shoulder of the road while I waited at the top of an exit ramp. Or the Blue-Winged Warbler that I identified by voice and watched for 1/2 an hour while it sang in Peace Valley Park - my usual bird haunt. Or the Gadwall that Pete Dunne showed me in his scope on a Cape May Autumn Weekend. Or the Chestnut-sided Warbler that Paco got me on at the New River Festival (one of my nemesis birds at the time). Or the Gray Catbird that was so close I could touch it, flashing his rufous rump patch in PennyPack Park. I even remember my first starling - I was on my first bird trip with Uncle Jim and asked him what it was. He called it a "trash bird" and I remember thinking "How can such a pretty bird be trash?". Now I know.

So as I prepare for my move and lots of other stuff at work and at home, I push birding to the back burner. But I have Cape May in October and Space Coast in January (staying with my wonderful Aunt Maggie! - Thanks, Mag!).

5 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I remember those West Virginia moments too...sigh...
Wish I could meet you in Cape May this fall...sigh...

Bird Girl said...

Hi Beth - So happy that you have those baby bluebirds and you know what? I never thought of those white spots as being like a fawns - what a neat thought!
You are one busy gal - no wonder you have to push birding to the back burner. But - I must say birds are NOT on the back burner of your mind! What great memories to keep you going while you can't actually get time to DO it ;-)

Russ said...

Cape May? Did someone say Cape May?

Beth said...

yes, brother-dear. I said Cape May. Do you think you and Jeff will be up for another birdy weekend at the 'rent's house?

Beth

dguzman said...

The last time I drove around Penns Valley with my girlfriend AB, just before I moved, I kept saying stuff like "see there? That's where I saw my first Yellow Warbler singing 'sweet sweet I'm so sweet'" or "over there is where I saw my first Brown Thrasher, in those little trees." She just kept laughing at me. I can't remember my own address or phone number half the time, but I remember the birding firsts.