Friday, May 12, 2006

Happy to Be Home, for a Change

Tomorrow we'll be birding from our tower at Indigo Hill. We hope the tree swallow is still there when we wake up.

Let me be the first to wish you a Happy International Migratory Bird Day (which is Saturday May 13, 2006). For the first time in several years I am going to celebrate it by staying HOME! I won't be in New Jersey for The World Series of Birding, nor will I be up at Magee Marsh with all of Ohio's other avid birders. Nope. It's home for me. But 75% of the Whipple Bird Club will be on hand to try to do a Washington County, Ohio, Big Day (we'll miss you, Sheels!). My record is 105 species, if memory serves. Back in the day we called a Big Day where you were trying for 100 species a Century Day. Here in SE Ohio, we can only get a Century Day in May, when the migrants passing through swell the local bird population.

We'll spend the better part of the day in the birding tower shown in this picture. Then we'll tool casually around Washington County to see what birds we can find. It's delightfully low-key. Weather looks grim, but at least we can always opt to be inside, where there are warm things to eat and drink, and the indoor plumbing is permanent, not portable.

In fewer than 30 minutes, at the stroke of midnight, I'll step out onto my back patio to listen for night birds to start our Big Day list. And I'll tip my cap to those insomniacs in NJ who will just be starting their grueling adventure at the WSB. (Mind you don't lock the keys inside the SUV, kids--NJ locksmiths are muy expensive at 3:30 am). Then I'll step back inside and curl up in my big, warm, comfy bed, until just before dawn.

Happy Spring Migration, y'all! Hope it's birdy wherever you are!


At 7:37 AM, Blogger MojoMan said...

Gee. Around here, granite countertops and whirlpool baths are must-haves for the modern home. Imagine a world where everyone demanded a birding tower!

How many species could you hope to see just on Indigo Hill Farm? Has that number increased since you started managing the property for birds?

At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Counting for the West River Migratory Bird Count (South Dakota) and celebrating the occasion by choosing 2 bird friendly new crabapples to replace a poor old birch that succumbed to some dread disease this winter and fell to the chainsaw this morning. Our favorite nursery was full of house finches and chipping sparrows among the young trees and an amorous flicker couple was involved on a telephone pole in the middle of the trees. Tomorrow is digging day.
Caroline Stafford

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous KatDoc said...

I was one of those nuts on the Boardwalk at Magee Marsh this weekend. Wet, windy, and down-right cold; still I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.

My Big Weekend count was 131 species, including 25 warbler species and 29 Life Birds. Golden-winged warblers were numerous, but by far my Best Bird was a Little Brown Job - Lark Sparrows at Oak Openings. It was fun but frantic. Next year, I think I will sleep in and drink cocoa. Brrrrrrrrr!

Missed the mating dance of the Clown Heads - is this a Southern phenomenon?



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