Saturday, May 22, 2010

Forbush Bird Club-Oxbow and a Recurring Nightmare

I attended the Forbush Bird Club trip today which was led by Alan at the Oxbow WMA. We would arrive a little early to scout the area for birds before the others arrived and one of the first things we would see was this impressive flock of Cedar Waxwings all teed up on the branches as we drove down the street.
One of the first stops we made as a group was the bridge at the beginning of the entrance where we would see/hear quite a few birds including this pair of Canada Geese with goslings in tow
There are so many other things to look for at Oxbow like the various wild flowers so I stopped and took a picture of this Lady Slipper.
As well as quite a few frogs which I never tire of!!! I was very happy to see this Green Frog trying to hide from us but as you can see he wasn't successful!
We would walk along the path and Alan was great in getting us some birds, but the one we would not be successful with was the Red-headed Woodpecker which Alan had discovered in the first place. Not sure if it has moved on or in hiding but no one would either hear or see it. We would leave Oxbow after a great morning of birding and make a quick stop on the street to see if the Willow Flycatcher was around as that is usually a guarantee, and while we wouldn't get the Willow, we were thrilled to get an Alder instead. There would also be the usual Northern Mockingbird in its usual place.
There would also be some Bobolinks in one of the fields as well as Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles and Tree Swallows. All in all, a great trip with 61 birds in total and that is not including the Wild Turkey a hunter brought it who had seen its final day.
I would go home after that and was a little tired so figured I would lie down for a while because quite frankly, all of this birding lately has made me exhausted!! I would wake up 1/2 an hour later by a somewhat recurring nightmare that I have that is of course bird related so figured I would share it with you all because perhaps this action will cause the end of this once and for all which would be welcome indeed!

It always starts off with a Pileated Woodpecker and I am always by myself when I spot it. Anyhow my first dream, I see a Pileated and ID it with my eyes. I then whip out my camera take a picture and go home where I proceed to post my findings on Rick's site and my blog. I proceed to upload my photos from my camera onto my computer and to my horror, it's not a Pileated Woodpecker per say, but rather a stuffed animal (one of those cheesy ones you get at the carnival) and it looks like a cross mix between a Pileated and Ivory-billed!!! I am mortified of course and wondering how I could have screwed up the ID on the bird. The endings are not always like this (one of them I am trying to chase the woodpecker up a tree as I climb up it to get it away from a cat and once I reach him, it's that dam stuffed animal again.) In todays dream, I somehow got stuck leading a Forbush Field Trip for a bunch of people from Japan and no other Forbush members around so I don't know how I got put into this situation. I am leading them along a path and am thrilled to see a Pileated Woodpecker because I am convinced the foreigners have never seen a bird like this before so they will be very impressed with my birding skills. I finally get all of their eyes on the beautiful woodpecker and low and behold, it's that frickin stuffed animal again!

Freud would have a field day with this for sure, but I think I can help him out some. You see, the first time I started posting on Rick's site and meeting many of the local birders in my area was when I had the Pileated Woodpeckers in Grafton and I remember being very nervous about posting because I was a complete newbie (heck I was calling a Bufflehead a Bafflehead only the month before so that should tell you something :-O). Anyhow, the Pileated Woodpecker is the symbol of the beginning of my birding and the beginning when I was trying to build up some credibility with my new birding network I have been blessed to meet. The mis-ID's I get in my dreams all stem from the deep insecurity I still have with my birding at times I am guessing which would be re-introduced again this week when Alan and I were on Coldbrook road and I excitedly told him I had a Wilson's as I saw its black crown and to my horror it turned out to be a Common Yellowthroat (little bugger!!). I would get frustrated over this as they look nothing alike but I wanted a Wilson's Warbler so bad that day that I would have probably done the same if it was a Blue Jay in that bush! Sometimes one sees what they want at a quick glance and that's why it's so important to make sure you get a really good look at a bird if you can't hear it song and the song is unmistakable.

So anyhow, to make a long story short, the dream I had this afternoon shook me up so bad that I went out and did what I always do when I'm in a funk which is bird. Some people hit the bottle or the fridge, but I much prefer the woods so decided to hike around my neighborhood and see what was around.
There would once again be all of the usuals (including that gorgeous Orchard Oriole) as well as this very handsome Baltimore Oriole above.
And more pretty wildflowers. The highlight would be a Field Sparrow and a Blue-winged Warbler as it seemed as if the hot sun made the birds hunker down low with no singing to escape the heat.
I would make my way out of the woods and onto the sidewalk and what would I see. Why a Gray Catbird of course! What does this angle remind you of??? Anyone want to guess???? A Wilson's Warbler with that black crown of his and at this angle to boot. HA!!!! I swear the little bugger was playing with my mind some out of complete boredom as being a bird sure must get dull at times.
I would go home with tired legs and a better spirit and can't wait to get out again tomorrow. I'm just hoping I don't run into any Pileated Woodpeckers that's all.

Take care.


Hilke Breder said...

Kim, I loved this post! The exhilarating discovery of a bird thought to be extinct in the dream only to find a stuffed animal instead: priceless!

grosbeak21117 said...

Those gorgeous pink blossoms are Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia). :)

Chris Ellison


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