Bird brained stories!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Birding in the fast lane

Life gets hectic at the worst times for birders. We're in the midst of our waves of neotropical migrants passing through the Mississippi Flyway, and I should be out there looking in every nook and cranny to catch them all before they're gone, right? Only it just isn't working out that way. Parent conferences, faculty meetings and appointments for my kids after school. Soccer games and organizational meetings on the weekend, not to mention church. A high school senior graduating in a week and all that goes with that. An audition for a storytelling festival last night. What's a girl to do?

Look up in the trees in her own backyard. Beat in the "ugly" bushes a neighbor was caught ripping out last summer. They are there. Perhaps the birds aren't landing in my yard in the numbers they do thirteen miles west near the river. That's okay. I don't have that much time before heading off to shape little minds for three more weeks before summer vacation. Looking up, I've found warblers and flycatchers flitting in the trees. Crawling around tonight, I'm pretty sure that was a Connecticut Warbler in those ugly bushes, which have also hosted American Redstarts, a Common Yellowthroat and the Baltimore Orioles who continue to sing non-stop throughout the yard. Tonight I spotted a few more Cedar Waxwings high in the black walnut, but the gold star came this morning, in the form of a Yellow Warbler, foraging in the black walnut over my patio, just above my head when I stood on my raised deck. Though he looks a bit ruffled--who wouldn't after a red-eye flight?--he cuts quite a dashing figure, with his striped vest over the yellow. I'm glad I've learned to slow down in the mornings, look up and wait. The wait usually pays off. Try it and see for yourself!

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