“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

-Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

Sunday, November 9, 2014

When You Go With a Pro

     This has been far and away the best birding week of my life.  Wednesday I joined my mom and several other enthusiasts for a walk with Early Bird Nature Tours, which is run by her friend Larry.  We went hunting for loons.  Though we didn't see any, we did get several other really great birds, several of which were life birds for me, and even a Peregrine Falcon.  The next day I killed a lot of time out in the backyard and had my highest species tally for my yard to date, including a flock of blue birds, 5 different woodpeckers, ruby and golden crowned kinglets, and a yellow rumped warbler, apparently also known as a "butter butt".  The kids love that one.  After that day my back yard species count is up to 39.  Not bad for only 4 months.  Today though, today was the best day yet.  My oldest so joined my mom and I on another walk with Larry, this time at Longwood Gardens.  Our count for the walk wasn't as good as Wednesday's but we had a fabulous look at a Golden Eagle!  It circled about 40 feet over our heads for several minutes giving everyone a stellar view.  If I had been on my own I probably would have thought it was an immature Bald Eagle but the pros whipped out their books and confirmed it as a golden.  We were all pretty physched.  It was gorgeous.  Then at home I headed out back and it was a feeding frenzy.  The birds were going nuts over the fall berries.  The Red Belly was flying back and forth like mad, I got a great sighting of yet another sapsucker but then right before I was about to head in the Pileated swooped in to join the show.  It flew closer and closer, at one point only about 15 feet away.  I couldn't tear myself away.  Unfortunately it got dark, but you can bet I'll be back out there tomorrow. 
photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/jondavidnelson/14489162235/">Jon David Nelson</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

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