Saturday, March 28, 2009

More Lifers and a Sense of Hope

I went birding this morning with a local birder in my area and it was a lot of fun. He showed me a bunch of new places around the Blackstone area that I had never gone to before and boy did it pay off. I now see why people recommend you go birding with more experienced birders because he was able to point out things to me that I would never have known on my own.


Lifer!!! Wood Ducks!!! The one waterfowl bird I had to see this summer no matter what. HA, I say that about all of them, but I am serious about this really I am. I hiked to a small pond and there they were. I was able to get three photos of them before they did that alarm call of theirs and flew off. The call was so alarmed that I actually felt bad for bothering them. Heck, the way they were screaming you would think I had a weapon pointed at them instead of my camera. Will remember to use extreme caution and tiptoe lightly next time I meet up with them.

LIFER!! Field Sparrow. HA! Yes I know, this is probably a common bird but you must remember that I started birding last May and it was all backyard birding for the most part until this past November. Birds that many of you have seen before are all new to me and this was one of them. Very nice call they have.

Not a lifer but a picture of the goose who has terrorized me in the past. I was never able to get a photo of him before because he would chase after me and I would run to my car in fear. People feed him so he automatically assumes you are going to do the same and when you don't he uses his size and bill to intimidate you. Last time he did this I threw him three slices of bread and ran to my car and skidded out of the dirt parking lot to get away. This Graylag Goose was tame as a kitten today though and didn't even look twice at me. I am hoping he isn't on his best behaviour solely for attracting a mate. I can't even imagine two of them running after me demanding bread. ;o)



The Pileated Woodpecker in Grafton continues to be a daily presence and he is really fixated on one tree in particular. Today I watched him work on that hole for about 15 minutes and I couldn't get over all of the wood chips that were coming from that tree. He was a determined guy this afternoon.


Now allow me to introduce you to the Misses. She went right to the tree he was on and when she landed he took off??? She then inspected the hole for a few minutes and took off after him. I hope she liked his handy work because he has been doing it for the past three weeks now and I would hate to see him have to start from scratch. ;o)


I decided to save the best for last. Yes the photo is lousy but it was tough to get this picture because we were so far away from this bridge railing and water was blocking our path. Plus, a good birder never disturbs a nest! What you see below is a Common Raven sitting on her nest!! LIFER and a super sweet one at that.

I seriously never thought I would get to see a Raven in my lifetime. I remember when I was a student in my Life Sciences class that our teacher went down a list of extinct or endangered birds and this was one of them. It is amazing how birds learn to adapt to human development and destruction at times.

I have been reflecting on the incredible birds I have seen the past couple of weeks and it has awakened my sense of hope. Hope is something we all yearn for but how does one define it? The advertisers bombard us with the promise of hope in hopes we will buy their product which usually lets us down. The politicians use it as a campaign slogan and all too soon we realized that it's politics as usual. It is easy to be a pessimist of hope in the day and age we are living in now.

But then I realize that hope cannot be bought with neither a dollar nor a vote. Hope is something we experience every day. We hope for a beautiful day with each lovely sunrise, we hope for spring when we see the first crocuses bloom and we hope for life when we see the Common Raven sitting lovingly on her nest.



20 comments:

The Early Birder said...

Whow Kim...what a day you've had. I get great pleasure in sharing my limited knowledge with anyone who is interested so it is delightful to watch your eventful & exciting journey. FAB

ShySongbird said...

Great photos and very entertaining post. Your recollection of the goose was so funny, although maybe not for you!!

madcobug said...

Great pictures and a good entry. Helen

Mildred said...

What an exceptional day you have had. You must be so thrilled. This was a remarkable post! Good for you.

Kathiesbirds said...

Oh, good for you! I'm so glad you saw all of these birds! No worries about Common Ravens going extinct down here. I see them every day and I HOPE you get to see many more species of birds! As for the Field Sparrow, you are one up on me there. I do not have it on my Life List! One person's common bird is another's rarity!

Tina said...

Kim,
Now I see you are called Kim..I can drop the Kallen..:0
Congrats on all those lifers!! How awesome for you to see that raven..wow!! That would be a lifer for me too!
Loved your pileated woodpeckers..so cool you can sit and watch..that's on my list of tados!
...and aren't those wood ducks something to behold?? Kind of surreal I think..almost like Disney painted them!
Love you post. Glad you had such a great day!

dAwN said...

KIM,
How nice that you were able to go out with another birder..It really does help to go with someone in the know..I love to go out with birders..I learn so much..I am still a novice ...
Congrats on your lifers...

Lynne said...

Congrats on your lifers Kim. You had a big day!

Andy said...

What an excellent day!

Rich said...

Great Day! Great commentary about your day! Great pictures!

Kelly said...

Awesome post. I enjoyed the narrative and chuckled over your goose encounter! What an active day and congrats on the lifers!

Jayne said...

I am still so bad about staying in my yard. You inspire me Kallen. At some point, I'll have to venture out. :c) Lovely post. Congrats on the Wood Duck!

Deborah Godin said...

Congrats on more Lifers! Those wood ducks are so gorgeous. I saw them years and years ago, when I was growing up in Michigan, and not an "official birdwatcher." So, when I started my Life List after moving to Alberta, I didn't feel right about adding wood ducks and other birds I'd seen when I was a kid. Then it turns out, a pair of wood ducks lived at a park in Calgary that was a good birding spot - they were deemed "escapees" from the Calgary Zoo - so I got to add them finally! Haven't seen any here since moving back east.

Laura K said...

Congratulations on your lifers!!! You certainly had one bird-acious day! Good luck with your birding! Here's hoping spring brings you more lifers!

NCmountainwoman said...

You really have had some incredible birding days lately. Thanks for sharing them with us.

MaineBirder said...

WOO-HOO!! 3 lifers!

It's great that you got to go birding with an experienced birder. The more eyes, the more birds.

birdsonthebrain said...

Look at all of these comments! It's not surprising you're so popular--your blog is a blast to read. Congrats on the Wood Duck! I can't wait to see one, and pileated woodpecker is another bird on my list of species I'm very anxious to see. Congrats on the Common Raven, too. I heard one the other day, positively IDed its call, but haven't SEEN one yet. And a third congrats on the Field Sparrow (the box next to that bird is unchecked on my list--I'd be excited too!)

Shellmo said...

Kallen - I am laughing at your desciption of running away form the goose and skidding away in the parking lot! (I thought I was the only one who did that - lol!) Beautiful photos - I'm so envious you saw the wood ducks - I've been trying for so long...

RuthieJ said...

Raven on the nest -- so cool! I wish we had ravens here in southern Minnesota. They're neat birds.

Chris said...

Hi,
This was like a great day with very nice pictures. I definitively loce this woodpecker...

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