Saturday, May 8, 2010

Doing The BirdThing

I think I have had enough of birds for a while. Don’t get me wrong - I do love the various flying/dipping/wading/floating/feeding-on-the-mud- flats critters, but I must say that there is a certain element of human wing-nuts (in a totally avian sense) here on the Alaskan Peninsula, and I fell easy victim to them. I have followed a gaggle of bird-watchers this week and bird-watched until I am about to drop. Today (Saturday) is the day that finally did me in.

Once again, I was possessed (or I possessed myself, not sure which) to get up at 6:30 a.m. on this Saturday which was MY DAY OFF, to go out and – I know this will be hard to believe – bird watch! More to the point, we were bird-counting. Today is National Migratory Bird Day, which in and of itself is a worthwhile event and I was happy to participate, especially in Alaska. But to be honest, I think I just simply tipped myself over the edge a bit here. It may not have helped that I stayed up until after midnight playing cards with the other seasonals (who are all at least 30 years younger than I am – didn’t I learn anything at Columbia Archaeological Project?). Did that last glass of wine have anything to do with my fuzzy aura in the morning?

I did get a few nice photos, though, plus a lot more bad ones, and learned a few things. I spotted a short-eared owl (didn’t know what it was but I spotted it) which the other birders got really excited about since it is a bird of critical concern. I learned to identify the harsh trill of the Common Redpoll. I photographed a Fox Sparrow without a head (my stellar photography skills at work once again). I took blurry photos of a semi-palmated plover (yes, I was using a tripod) but took a nice one of an American Tree Sparrow. And get this - there were Pen Air Gas Hawks flying all over the place. Those bad boys are big!

So I’ve decided to take myself a little vacation from “doing the bird thing” for a while, cheap box wine notwithstanding. I am not going to think about birds, or look at them, or photograph them, or read about them, at least until my headache is gone.

I need a Pepsi in a bad way.

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