A VERY special and sincere note of thanks to our friends, Jane Tillman and Mark Lyons, for meeting up with us early Monday before we headed west.
Together we hit Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park in Austin to try for Chuck-wills-widow and got ’em! After birding the park for a few hours, we had success adding the following new species for the year.
And thanks to Jane for her enthusiasm and sharp strategizing for Mom’s Big Year and to Mark for all his support! Jane’s recommendations were ‘spot-on’ and produced many more birds throughout the adventure! Thank you, Jane!
We spent the afternoon at Pedernales Fall State Park. A lifer Golden-cheeked Warbler was a REAL treat for me! And we had a chance to watch a male Painted Bunting take a bath.. That’s a bird I was tickled to see for the first time earlier this year after drooling over it in a book when I was 5 years old. I’ve been dreaming about seeing it ever since then! New year birds at Pedernales included the following–although we did hear Bewick’s Wren loud and clear in the morning at Commons Ford too.
Stay tuned for a review of Day 3 tomorrow..
MORE birds AND friends!……My two favorite things! 🙂 ❤
Well, now it’s time to play ‘catch up’. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity with my trip to Florida, a BIG snowstorm here in the northeast and the start to the spring semester for my new environmental science class. All fun for me!
Florida was fabulous! The Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival was a hit on SO many levels! I had a great time working with Wildside Nature Tours to bring incredible birds together with equally amazing people! I led 5 straight days of field trips for the festival and truly had a blast! Each trip and its guides and participants were unique. Everyone was engaged and made it such a rewarding time for me. It’s always so much fun reconnecting and leading trips with old friends and colleagues and meeting lots of new friends too!
Here are some highlights:
My flight home was cancelled on Sunday due to “Snowzilla”. We had 30″ of snow blanket our home in Maryland! As I was fretting and wringing my hands about my cancelled flight and the possibility that I might actually MISS my FIRST class of the spring semester/my new job (eeek!)… Skye, seabird counter extraordinaire, looked me square in the eyes and with his jovial smile said one word to me.
That’s all I had to hear to give my attitude the 180 degree turn it needed. Cancelled flights yield more time for birding… and more birding I did! I took the extra time and thanks to fellow Wildside guide, Steve, had the great fortune of seeing a bird that I’ve been dreaming about seeing since I was 5 years old…. a male painted bunting!
The first couple weeks of teaching my new class have been fabulous. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how incredibly motivated my UMBC students are!
This week on my day off, after getting the lunches packed and the kids off to school, I took a deep breath and realized it was the first day the house was quiet since my trip and after the kids had been home for 10 days straight due to the weather. It was a warm morning. The snow was covered by a thick blanket of fog as it started into a steady rain.. It was the PERFECT day to pull the covers back over my head and go straight to sleep again. And that I did.
By about 9:15 am I reached for my phone to check email as I was pondering all the things on the ‘to-do list’ that had been pushed aside in the whirlwind of activity these past few weeks. The mile-long list (including the unsent holiday cards!) made me pull the covers even higher over my head as I entertained the idea of another hour or two of sleep in my warm, cozy bed.. With the quiet in the house after all the hustle and bustle, some extra zzz’s were just way too tempting for this overtired mom.
A fellow local bird club member had just sent an email reporting 12 + Pine Siskins at his feeder. Knowing it was a bird I needed to see for the year and one that only came to feeders on occasion and could be missed…. I literally kicked my feet straight up in the air, covers flying off the bed and shot straight up. Fifteen minutes later, I arrived at his house and got the bird.
There was only ONE thing on this planet that could get me out of that bed that morning.