Sunday, March 02, 2008

Single-Tree Birdwatching

I've lots of friends and colleages who are avid birdwatchers. By avid, I mean drop-what-you-are-doing and rush-off-to (insert far-flung state or country) in pursuit of a storm-blown or accidental sighting of a single rare bird that has yet to be checked off from their life list.

I'm truly a more what's-around-in-my-daily-travels sort of birdwatcher. Not quite "backyard" watcher, since my daily travels take me, during a week or month, to just about every corner of the county I live in, and to every variety of habitat and natural system that is present in the area. I get a chance to see native and soon-to-be developed tracts that few have the opportunity to walk and observe in.

So today, upon hearing an avian commotion in a laurel oak tree near Clog House, Est. 1935, I and my huge black tomcat Buffalo (He, with the longest cat-tail I've ever seen) investigated. We observed a lively mob of chickadees, titmice, chipping sparrows, and ruby-crowned kinglets; a pair of black-and-white warblers, a few northern parula warblers, and a single cardinal - all in a huff about an unseen something-or-other. Might have been a snake. Might have been the single cardinal that outsized everyone else. We couldn't determine what caused them to become so agitated. But it was a great 5-minute break to notice the birds in the area. You should do the same in your little corner of Paradise.

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