The life and hard times of a birder

You know, sometimes writing a blog can be difficult at times.  Like right now, I know that I haven’t posted here for a few days, but I also know that I have readers waiting in anticipation for my next printed word.  At least that is what I keep telling myself, and in reality I am hoping that is true.  But I guess that may be just a bit egotistical of me.  But since I get comments from you, I know that you are there, and I know who you are.

But really, some of my posts must seem a little, let me see,  not necessarily boring, but possibly predictable.  I am usually telling you about my latest birding exploits and or photographs.  And from your comments, I know that you are enjoying them and I appreciate that.

So as predicted, Ann and I have been going to the park the past few mornings to take care of the blind and feed the birds.  Then when we should have been heading back to the house to do things that normal people do, we decided to make our little tours around the park again.  Our yard is getting neglected, our house is getting neglected, I am behind on taking care of some photographic obligations, and I forget the name of our dog.  Of course, she, the dog, is thinking about moving out. 

Such is the life of a birder.  We must simply try to see that elusive creature of the avian family that we can add to our life list.  Ah, the Life List.  We must strive to keep adding to that list of birds that we’ve seen in our life-time.  It is imperative that we do that because it is a status symbol among birders.  I am at 197, and I have just got to make that 200 mark by December 31.  Of course that is just a novice figure but I am starting to sweat.  I haven’t added a new one in a couple of months and I only have six months left to do this.  So I may have to try desperate things.

Right now, we think or imagine we see birds everywhere.  We see an odd shaped tree leave – Hey, a bird!!.  We see a deformed knot in a tree – Hey, a bird!!  We get a call or an e-mail about a rare bird down in Eldorado and we must jump in the van to get there to see it.  Ann and I spent several cold evenings wandering along the Concho River looking for a rare Anhinga that was spotted, the first time ever in San Angelo.  The fifth night after nearly freezing we spotted it, I photographed it, and added it to my short but growing, you guessed it, my Life List.  So I can see why that there is a fine line between a hobby and mental illness.  But I must confess it is great fun, highly rewarding, and gets me and Ann out of doors.

Now back to the real reason for originally starting this blog, here is an update and photos from San Angelo State Park.  There are still a lot of Cedar Waxwings hanging around, but also the Common Nighthawks are arriving in greater numbers that I have seen in the past.  Yesterday, I got dizzy from trying to photograph one of them in flight.  Those rascals are quick, fast and elusive.  My work is cut out for me to get that accomplished.  So I settled for a photo of one on a mesquite branch.  I also came across a juvenile Scissor-tailed Flycatcher munching on an insect of some kind.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.  Click on any image if you would like to see an enlargement.   Oh, I just remembered my dog’s name is Suzie.  And Suzie, I must go.  I just heard about this rare green and purple bird in a cliff hole in Santa Elena Canyon. 🙂

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - juvenile

Common Nighthawk on mesquite branch