Date: 5/4/18 1:30 pm From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...> Subject: There's no place like home...
Birding... a fun and rewarding and sometimes frustrating hobby. It probably doesn't help that I actually struggle with anxiety... Every year I have to tell myself over and over and over again, I don't need to try and see every species I can around here. It's okay if I miss some... right? Somehow, that urge is still there not matter what. Even when I change my goals to simply finding a few new life birds that year. I still feel I'm missing out... and sometimes, I am. I have to find contentment in that somewhere.
That bullock's oriole... the day I finally had time to make that drive was the day it left. Missed a long-tailed duck earlier this year(2 years in a row we missed it). I certainly didn't find an anhinga like Joe Neal... The bay-breasted warbler found at lake fayetteville, such a big place I don't even want to try and chase that as I'd feel disappointed when I didn't.
Great weather has come through making me wish I could zip over there, then there... hatchery, eagle watch, city lake, chesney, etc... Certainly I'm missing something exciting... blackpoll found at chesney... a bird I've heard 2 different years but never quite saw. The list goes on and on...
I've been filling my mornings, lately, with simply birding the yard. I can get up over 40 species and some days, I'm still not satisfied. But then, we still manage to get our surprises and simply exciting to see birds regardless of their abundance.
We managed to get some baltimore orioles at the feeder finally. And we've got an orchard oriole in the neighborhood. Every year we have a pair of summer tanagers that stick around. We've even had a couple red-headed woodpeckers at the feeder this year. I need to get all my lists on Ebird someday... I'm bad at that. We've had wood thrushes and swainson's thrushes in the yard almost every day lately. We've gotten good looks at a blue-headed vireo. Still hoping to have a bell's and philidalphea grace the yard. The white-eyed is sticking around as well as some red-eyed. It's an active yard. The list goes on. Haven't seen it yet but we've heard a magnolia a couple mornings now. We've had some redstarts in the yard today that are always a joy to watch.
This morning my daughter and I were birding out there a bit when we finally got some amazing views of a chestnut-sided warbler. Beautiful creature. Thought that would be the highlight of the day... Had a blackpoll, visible, the other day and today as well. Had a bobolink or three fly over the past few days heading who knows where... as well as many dickcissels migrating past. Wonderfully birdy day today.
Then, I was about done. My daughter had already gone inside to get some schoolwork done. I was calling my wife to see where she was when suddenly... I was saying "I have to go... " Got off the phone, whistled REAL loud a few times and my daughter came running out to see what was going on. A few seconds later she was viewing what had me excited. Our first ever, and an amazing yard bird, golden-winged warbler. I thought we'd never, ever see one and would only have a chance if we went somewhere they were commonly found. Every time someone said "first of season" for one of those I'd get mildly cranky. (HA) This bird hung around for a while. It would disappear for a bit then come back. Was out there a couple hours I bet. The bird activity was great. Lots of little birds including some we'll never know. I especially get mad at the flyovers that make calls I'm simply not familiar with. But it was an exciting morning for us. New yard/life bird. Can't beat that... and right here at home. I don't always appreciate where I live. The driveway is STEEP gravel that is rough on our vehicles... and somehow, the hills I guess, the sound of hwy 412 echoes right up to us. I hate hearing it but this little 5 acres is sometimes heaven. The wasps, ticks, and chiggers I could certainly do without. :(
some day, I'll get going on some other things I want done in the yard. I keep telling my daughter that if we had a water feature with running water, we could probably do all our birding from the window. But my lack of motivation benefits us(and the birds) sometimes. The wild jungle of a yard that doesn't get mowed and is a bit out of control in some areas is paradise for some of these birds.
Part of me wonders what the next exciting bird will be and, somehow, still have that itch to see all I can. But at this point, that golden-winged might be the highlight of the year. or was is the vermilion flycatcher at city lake? or our first godwit at the hatchery? I'm going to miss a lot of birds this year but these birds more than make up for that. :)