Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A day in May

This Cape May Warbler was the most recent *life bird* for me since the exciting Rusty Blackbird in Cape May this past fall.


A handsome bird who put on quite a show... a treat in spring and not anything I thought I might chance upon so easily. I'm not a lister, really, but I do try to keep some record of what I've seen and where, if it's significant. The longer one spends paying attention to birds, the harder it is to come upon new ones, so that makes each a bit more significant that way. It wasn't so much about seeing this new-to-me-bird as it was about enjoying the moment with others who were as excited with it as me, or appreciating how nice he looked against the blooming beach plums and flitting in and out of the poison ivy brambles. Janet and I spent a long time looking at him after the others had moved on to the next bird.

Warblers in spring are like a prize for us birders, you know? Imagine if all birds were so colorful and charming and active... I think the world would be full of birdwatchers... who could resist? These birds are the reward for the dead days of June and July, or the late summer days spent on a salt marsh fighting greenhead flies for a chance at a southbound shorebird or the winter days in a biting wind looking at ducks with tears streaming down your face. If only it were easier to take a beginner into the woods on a spring day and have them see these gems of the bird world!

Before I started learning about birds, before I was aware of them, I couldn't have imagined the chance of anything so beautiful. It makes me wonder how others can miss it... do you do that? Wonder how the rest of the world is able to not see such beauty? Not hear their sweet spring songs? What does the rest of the world do with a day in May?


Anonymous said...

I wonder too. When my ears pick out a sweet, sweet song from a nearby tree and no one around me seems to hear it. Am I out of step or are they?

bobbie said...

Have to believe it is they who are out of step.
I often look at people, rushing past, not noticing the flower or the bird or the rainbow or the sparkle of the sun on the water. They miss so much. It's sad that so many do not see or hear these thing.

Mary said...

I can't count the number of times I shook my head to see students and faculty walk right by a pair of Eastern Bluebirds perched on their nesting box. They just don't notice. How sad for them. How happy for us!

Susan Gets Native said...

I became a birder when I was 29. And I don't know how I spent the first 28 years of my life not-in-tune with warblers. Or raptors, for that matter.
My family would attest, though, that I am making up for lost time.

LauraHinNJ said...

Liza: I guess it's a matter of being in tune with birds rather than the ringing of a cell phone or some other distraction.

Bobbie: Yeah, but others probably see other important things we miss for looking at birds all the time!

Mary: Right - our world is full of secrets waiting to be noticed, I think.

Susan: LOL! Hard not to notice them once you've started.

RuthieJ said...

So many times I want to stop people outside the workplace and say, "did you hear that grasshopper sparrow over there?" and I know they'd look at me like I was a kook.
I think that's why those of us who are birders have a much greater appreciation--because we're enjoying it not only for ourselves but for all the others who aren't "enlightened."