Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Few Minutes of Birding

I've been wrestling with a strong desire to get outside the past few days. However, between the weather and my work, I haven't had a chance to get out for any appreciable amount of time. But this morning something happened that encouraged me to make some time to go outside.

As I finished breakfast, I took a few moments to look out at the feeder area in the backyard. Just when I was about to start working, I noticed two birds fly into the yard. Immediately I knew they weren't the regulars that have been around the past few weeks. After grabbing my binocular, I saw that the birds were a Brown Thrasher, which I hadn't seen in four months, and a Great Crested Flycatcher, which was a FOY bird and only the second I've ever seen.

So, motivated by these two yard visitors, I decided to make some time—about thirty minutes—this evening to take a walk and do a little birding. Throughout most of the walk it was fairly quiet, with few birds around. I saw a couple of Eastern Kingbirds and Eastern Bluebirds, and a couple of different species of waterfowl that I couldn't identify (they were flying overhead, and I'm very weak with waterfowl).

Glad to be out but a little deflated, I was hurrying back for dinner when I caught sight of a flash of dark blue. My first thought was Indigo Bunting, because they are fairly common around here. However, when I put binocular on the bird, I caught a flash of red before it dashed into the shrubs close to the road. Then I saw a fairly plain, brownish bird, but I noticed two distinct wing bars. Now I was becoming excited, because it became clear that these two birds were together, hunting for food. But the blue bird kept eluding me, and glimpses were all I could catch.

Finally, after a few minutes of patient waiting on my part, the blue bird perched on the wire fence. I was elated when I saw the bird clearly, and my excitement grew when his partner landed beside him. Before me were two Blue Grosbeaks, a new life bird for me. What beautiful creatures!

For the final few minutes of my walk home, my mind was free of all burdens as it replayed the images of the grosbeaks. One thing became abundantly clear to me: even if I don't have much time to bird, use what time I do have to bird. Who knows what the next life bird will be.


  1. I go out on the patio almost every day just to sit and watch the birds. When I take my camera and zoom lens with me...NOTHING. When I go out there without my camera...AMAZING BIRDS APPEAR!

    What the heck?!

  2. That seems to be the rule of nature! When I "plan" to see birds, I don't see them — it's like a ghost town. When I'm out in the yard without camera or binocular — POW! — I see the most beautiful birds. It must be a law of nature.