A B-day present for BT3
Of course, this isn't a post about the great birding this morning. This is a post about how my good buddy, Bill Thompson (affectionately known as BT3), got another year older on this sunny day in Guatemala. After lunch, Bill and others enjoyed a quick dip in the crystalline waters of the lake (Lago Peten Itza), then we all boarded various launches and took a ride back across the water to meet our buses.
There was a quiet murmur going through the group about this being Bill's birthday and all. I felt bad that I didn't know in advance or I would have gotten him something special. Bill's shuttle was the first back to terra firma and while we tooled along serpentine looking at Ring-necked Ducks, Grebes, and Black-necked Stilts. One of the keen-eyed birders on our boat picked out a tiny compact raptor perched atop a radio tower on an island. Distant view, but given the compact falcon shaped body, big head, and overall darkness, we all agreed this was a Bat Falcon. "Oh man, Bill needs that!" someone on the boat commented.
Cell phones were produced and finally someone was able to get a hold of Bill. There was a series of calls back and forth to get more details, but try that they might Bill and the others on shore were not able to see the tiny falcon on the back side of the very distant tower.
As our boat pulled in and I prepared to hop ashore with scope in hand, I noticed a curious dark shape over the heads of those looking for the falcon. I raised my binoculars to confirm and then quickly stated, "Heck, forget that one here's a Bat Falcon teed up right behind you!" It sat as bold as can be on a TV aerial on the building immediately adjacent to the cantina where those ashore were enjoying celebratory libations. Bill enjoyed the view through my scope that I captured above and we shared a "high-five".
Shutter releases and motor drives whirred as Bill soaked up his birthday present properly. he only stopped to take advantage of his celebratory ice-cream cone!.... All the good birders celebrate with ice cream. Roger Tory Peterson loved to stop for ice cream while birding (that's RTP BTW)!
Did you write about that Bill?!?...