Date: 8/20/17 5:31 pm
From: JM Maher <jeannemariemaher...>
Subject: [NHBirds] lost weeks to birding and bereavement
In the time that has passed since Mom died,(two weeks ago) Michael has taken me far afield to find birds as a source of distraction. It has been so healing. Last weekend we were in Pittsburg and this weekend from the Coast to the Connecticut.

Thanks to Steve and Jane for finding the beautiful Baird’s Sandpiper. It was great to see (again) as I continue to work on shorebird identification, we almost missed it , compliments of the local Cooper’s Hawk. But the Baird’s, what a beauty!. And then to be joined by Len and Lisa (and such wonderful humor) was a treat.

Today under the pretext of biking, Michael had us head to Lebanon to ride the rail trail. Of course (the "non-birder" he is), he thought to have a side trip to find the Least Bittern.
In the morning we were sorely disappointed, as the sounds of the trucks filled the heated summer air, with few birds around. After the ride , again, we came up empty handed…. so we explored the further pond to find 4 green herons, 2 great blue herons, a smattering of sparrows, and a least flycatcher.
When we finally got back to the parking lot, we met up with two wonderful women docents from VINS. Peg and Lynn. We again resumed the search. Back up to the back alkali pond where there were no reeds in the water at all, but where their friend had shared an earlier siting (while we had been there and missed out).
Despite enjoying all the herons, there was no least bittern. Finally, ready to leave, Lynn decided to be the “sacrificial birder”.
We headed, half heartedly, one last time to the open pond before the long drive home. And there we found some solace in seeing Ken photographing ….the Least Bittern at the front side of the pool .


With loving memories of my Mom who taught me to appreciate the beauty of nature, and grateful thanks for all the friends who have sustained me through this.

Jeanne-Marie Maher
Nashua , NH

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