Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world..."

If Bogart were a Finch and smoked double cigarettes I am sure he would have just that expression. In addition to being distracted by the brilliant red above, on my stop at Stearn's Lake and the adjacent farm pond I was struck by just how high the water level is currently. It really isn't much of a surprise given our recent rains, but for two areas that are usually havens for shorebirds there isn't much mudflat real estate. Instead the cattails are sitting in floodplains. The Red-winged Blackbirds are loving it, but I was disappointed that no Bitterns were hanging out, or if they were I still haven't picked up the knack for spotting them. That is one species that I am looking forward to finally locating.

It wasn't all disappointment and classics last evening though. In unusually birder like fashion, (for me) I worked the picture of my lifer Common Yellowthroat above. At first I heard a new call as I was watching for swallows at the farm pond. It was coming from the willows on the bank, and to my ear sounded like a DJ triple scratching - Vee-teh..Vee-teh..Vee-teh. I had to have been looking right at it, but couldn't see anything moving in the vegetation. Finally, after about 5 minutes of the sound moving through the tree I caught sight of movement. I was just about to click a few blocked frames when a flash of yellow shot out, across the road, and into the reeds on the Boulder County side of the road. I saw where the shape had dropped out of view, so I approached and kept him singing with a few whistles/pishes of my own. After another ten or so minutes of his echoing my horrible impersonation of his song he rose up high enough for me to get a few shots through the wide leaves. Not bad when I get to bag a lifer and get to follow it between two counties.
2009 Count: 159
Lifetime: 171

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