So you’re in love with a birder…

 So you’re at the beach, and you spent the evening before strolling along the causeway in the fog, drank some nice wine, did a little dance, made a little love, and you are now sleeping the sleep of the just, marred only by the fact that at some point this morning, your Significant Other got up, grabbed their binoculars, and ran out the door waving a Sibley guide.

But that’s okay. You’re dozing off again. Clearly they have gone mad, but it happens, and they are at least technically an adult capable of self-determination. Sort of. 

And then you get a phone call, and as you fumble it to your ear, the voice of your Significant Other cries "They have Northern Gannets! You have to come see this! That’s a really good one!"

Worst Response:

1. Is that a fish or something?

Bad Responses:

1. Where are you?
2. What time is it?
3. Do you know what time it is?
4. Are you drunk?
5. What the hell is wrong with you?

Good Responses:

1. Great!
2.That IS a good bird!
3. I’ll get my pants!
4. Are you wearing pants?
5. Is the tide coming in?*

Best Response:

1. (Pick one of the above, show up on the causeway some minutes later with hot coffee, thereby endearing self to birder forever.)

Needless to say, Kevin chose correctly, and the coffee was a good thing because apparently I’d lost track of time again and had been standing at the end of a windy pier for about forty minutes watching sea birds–I woulda put it at maybe fifteen–and was significantly frozen. (Not quite as bad as the time in Toronto, when it was impressed upon me that it had been nearly two hours and frostbite might be in my future, but it was brisk.) Northern gannets are a good bird because they hardly ever come over land, and while they’ll come quite close to shore,you generally have to go out to the end of a pier or out on a boat to get close enough to see one. They were a new bird for me, and I was thrilled.

The rest of the day was spent at the aquarium (they have a salt marsh trail!) where Kevin’s fledgling lifelist increased substantially with such nifty birds as the lesser yellowlegs, great egret, and belted kingfisher, and then strolling down first the beach and then various boardwalks. I saw some very bad art, some very good art, red-breasted mergansers, willets, sanderlings, pelicans, and, to my great delight, a lifer that I have wanted for AGES–the common loon!

We were in a restaurant at the time, and I had to whip out my binoculars and stare out the window, baffling the waitress, but hey, y’know. Some things have priority. 

I was very sad that the place that sold giant fiberglass marlins was closed. "Fine Art & Taxidermy." What’s not to love? And the uses for a giant fiberglass marlin are endless! I can think of at least three, and that doesn’t include hanging socks from his nose!

Now we vegetate in the hotel room–walking on sand is exhausting–and tomorrow, a little more beach, and then home.

*You get trapped in an estuary and have to wade out one time…

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