Saturday, April 26, 2008

My little girl giveth...

I got home from work and Hazel (the nearly 2 year old) was running around in the yard with Ginger. She ran up to me and soon was pointing at the bike saying "ride? ride? ride?" I said "OK," and we were off, I decided to check a little flooded field that will soon become the rest of a subdivision that wasn't bad for shorebirds last fall. We rode over, I could tell there were shorebirds present and the first bird I put the binoculars on was the plainest Wilson's phalarope I've ever seen. Finally a decent bird for my Bigby year and a county lifer at that (leaving clay-colored sparrow and yellow-bellied flycatcher as my remaining most regularly occurring birds still needed for Berrien). At first I thought it had retained juvie plumage but it appeared to be just a very dull (probably first spring) male with only the faintest trace of color to the neck. I scanned back and forth and found the female a few feet away. She was in full breeding plumage in gorgeous light. They fed in typically frenetic madcap fashion, little shorebirds on speed, dashing about, picking back and forth at the water, thoroughly frustrating any chance of a decent photo. The female skidded once as she slid in the mud. They worked their way around the flooding, pausing once to add themselves to my c-list before continuing back around.

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