May 07, 2006

99 species of birds on the list

99 indigo bunting

MAY 7, GRINDSTONE PARK, partly sunny, 60—Shortly before bird no. 99 (a bluer-than-blue indigo bunting), I flushed a barred owl into a high tree, from where it gave me a long and (anthropomorphism warning) curious look. The same thing happened 15 minutes later. Otherwise my triple-digit bird eluded me in the trees. I notice I'm falling into bad binocular habits: this time of year there are lookalike birds I'm not sharp at identifying, and I break off watching to sketch or consult my guide—and poof, the bird is gone. I need to pay more attention to Yogi Berra.


Anonymous Allison said...

Very Athenian, the owl in the tree as an omen. Did he have a snake in the talon, warning of a change of regime? or just a long stare, compelling you to consult your guide and therefore losing sight of your 100? Your Odyssean journey will be rewarding, though challenging, I'm sure he was implying with that stare. Bet it was just another gnatcatcher up there, anyway.


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