|A Pronghorn is crowned by THE bird of Southern Arizona, the Vermilion Flycatcher|
|Bright and early on a cold crisp San Diego morning, we watch the Nazca Booby as the sun rises|
|Photo credit: Max Leibowitz. He went out with several birders on the same day we were there and took this great pic! Nazca Booby|
I always think, What would I do if I didn't chase these mega rare birds? Sleep? Drink coffee? Be a normal human being? 🙂 This is the difference between birding and bird watching. When you're a birder who birds, you choose the bird and go without question. It didn't take long for us to find the Nazca Booby. With the scope we saw the bird well on the buoy. However, the details were blurred with the shimmer of the sun above the ocean water. Now, when doing these mega rare bird chases, it's all about the speed birding in a limited time period because there are people waiting at home for you. They are patient for only so long with our addictions. There are, after all, human rituals like birthdays and holiday parties that we are required to attend. It's spousal abuse I tell you!
What do you get that special weird birder for the holidays? A one way plane ticket to a Birder's Bed and Breakfast in some new birdy place. If you're (un)fortunately married to a neurotic birder, make sure you strategically find a place for your bird lover and YOU. While you may like nature, you'll sometimes need a break from people who talk non-stop about birds and bird migration patterns. I'd equate the birding crowd conversation to men who love talking about statistics and football players or people who get into scrap booking while drinking white wine(from the box). Yuck! So I understand that non-birders after awhile tune out:) It's only a matter of time before you burst forth with, "Those damn birds!"
Ok. Let's get back on point here:) Mega rarity chases require the proper use of time during this highly restrictive holiday season. Would I have liked to take the boat out to see the Booby better? Yes. But if you have a time restraint, you have to get the birds. So our next bird was the underwhelming mega rare Red-throated Pipit in the same general area as the Booby.
|A real Vermilion Flycatcher|
Bird guide, Richard Fray mentioned that there were Lawrence's Goldfinches near my home. So got in my car for a quick drive. These goldfinches are tricky and not always reliable. On top of that, they are tricky to observe as they are often skittish and like to hide in thick vegetation.
I've seen these birds often enough but never quite like this. Again, I was alone and followed their song. Patiently, this time, I waited for them to come down and feed in the open. I didn't move. I didn't flinch. For an hour, I became part of the landscape until they were comfortable with me. Then I slowly moved towards their area and had this magical moment of perfection.
Happy Holidays everyone! I'll be back in Maine next week with friend and birder Kathie Brown. I'd also like to thank Max Leibowitz for sharing his photo on this blog. Our scope pictures weren't pretty but thanks to Max, you can see the details of this beautiful bird from the Galapagos Island area. Until next time.....