Birds, birds, birds…

The feeder is covered with birds this morning. House finches, cardinals, a coupla varieties of woodpecker, brown-headed nuthatches…the juncoes have been replaced by scrabbling sparrows, and the occasional goldfinch comes in for the Uber-Mega-Finch-Sock.

The warm days we’ve been having have changed the duck pond–the scaup and mergansers that overwintered have left for more congenial climes, to be replaced by a litter of floofy goslings and a brooding blue heron that seems to like to partially submerge itself when it gets toasty. (Makes sense, just not behavior I’ve seen before.)

Had an amusing birding moment t’other day, actually…I was out on Kevin’s back porch with his beagle, drinking tea and feeling rather zen,* and then I saw a telltale flicker of something off in the distance.

From Kevin’s perspective, he was sitting on the couch taking an early morning business call–with a priest, no less**–and suddenly his back door crashes open and his girlfriend goes tearing across the house, vaults a cat, charges out the front door, and there is a sound of car doors slamming. (One cannot be sure, but I imagine the two questions anyone has in that situation are A) What the hell was that? and B) Is she coming back?) Given the circumstances, he couldn’t even really comment.

A few seconds later, I went back through the house in the other direction, at speed, but carrying binoculars, which answered those questions (although whether it gave rise to others about my sanity, we’ll leave for the ages.)

Pileated woodpecker! I’ve only ever seen them in national parks–they need LARGE trees, so we don’t get them in the yard.  Gorgeous, massive birds. That made my morning.

And to his credit, Kevin’s response was not “Are you okay?” or “Have you lost your mind?” but “So! What did you see?” which is of course the correct question when dealing with birdwatchers.

*Well, I was zen. Gir being a beagle, zen is not really in his nature, but he was snuffling around fairy happily, anyway.

**You can’t make this stuff up.

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