Date: 11/9/20 9:33 am
From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...>
Subject: Do look back, and look up...
I'm always saying, the more you look, the more you see.

A few days ago I was at city lake and had a thought... Turn around, don't
frown. (instead of don't drown) A few years back I was at city lake
birding while there were blue-winged teal about. A good raft of them that
was a ways out. This is a small lake and when they get flushed, they fly
around for a while, sometimes landing again, sometimes leaving.
I have this habit of walking backwards once in a while after I've decided
to head back to the car. This time I was a good distance from the water,
halfway back to the car... turned around to see the flushed flock of teal
flying back and forth. Then I saw one that stood out, darker than the rest.
I ran down to the the water's edge and found a male cinnamon teal out
there. There was a female swimming with it but the pictures I got were not
great so I don't know for sure if it was a pair.
I would never have seen this if I wasn't always looking back...(even though
in many areas of life, you're not supposed to look back.)

I was thinking about this the other day because several times I kept
hearing a brown creeper but never saw it. I was headed back and heard it
behind me again so I turned around. Out in the woods I found a *hermit
thrush*, something I hadn't seen in a while so I was pleased.

And I'm ALWAYS thinking(stressing, wondering and worrying?) about how many
birds, how many exciting birds I miss because I'm not everywhere ALL the
time. Even my yard. I've seen birds that have been so amazing and it's made
me wonder, what have I missed?
So late in the afternoon yesterday I decided to go sit in a chair in the
yard to do some passive birding and relax. Then, a *merlin* floated slowly
over my yard, turning his head this way and that observing the landscape.
It did not stick around but it was an unexpected surprise. I've only seen a
merlin 3 or 4 times prior so having one come to me was pretty amazing.

Anyway, if you're like me and can't get out as often as you'd like, pull up
a chair and just see what happens. You might be surprised. And even if
nothing spectacular happens, sometimes just watching a single common bird
can be wonderful. I don't know what could beat the sapsucker that came to
the suet this morning.

Peace, love, and good birding...

-- in Siloam Springs --
Daniel Mason

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