Sunday, September 23, 2007
Of Birds and Men
I am going to try and enter the mind of a man as I write this. Perhaps I shall format my post the way Larry of The Brownstone Birding Blog reports his bird walks.
It all started out with my father who is presently in Chile with my mother and brother, Stephen. Dad needed a bill paid at an office in an area of the city that is a 60 minute round trip from the hospital. I procrastinated, and finally went there last Thursday. On the way back to work, I stopped at a reservoir on the grounds of the University of Waterloo for lunch.
There were multitudes of Canada Geese and Mallard Ducks, but in the crowd, two strangers stood out, glowing like celestial beings. (a man wouldn't say that!) I finally found a pair of the elusive Great Egrets who are migrating through our region this fall. Thanks Dad!
Fast forward five hours to my next significant male encounter. My husband called at 5 PM to say he had a flat tire. His buddy was with him and his boss was coming by to help and he would be late for supper. I told him I would be home by dark and I hurried back to the university in rush hour traffic to see if the Egrets were still there.
They were, and I enjoyed looking at them until dusk.
Yesterday, my husband had a ball tournament and so I left bright and early-ish for the same area. (I decided this at 8AM and left at 8:30 AM, a spontaneous birding outing rather than Larry's carefully planned trips.) I walked around the small lake and along a trail that followed the creek for over two hours. I identified 26 species of birds, excluding only starlings and house sparrows.
Eastern Kingbird, Kingfisher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Egret (1), Great Blue Heron (2), Blue Jay (2), Red-eyed Vireo, Gray Catbird (2), Redhead duck (several), Double Crested Cormorant (3), Red-winged Blackbirds (4) and two large, unusual gulls I could not identify.
As I headed back to my vehicle at noon, I went about 30 metres off the trail to the bushes and rushes where the Great Egret had been. I was startled by a Male Birder who was wearing his binoculars and nothing else! Do good birders wear buff? He apologized profusely and said he was cooling off after a long, hot bike ride. Well buddy, loosen your spandex biking shorts a little. This is not a guy's fishing trip in the wilderness. He called after my rapidly retreating back and asked me jokingly not to take a picture. Son of Adam, when you are in the public garden, please wear your fig leaf! (no photo)
By birding expedition ended rather abruptly as I was not going to raise binoculars or a camera to my eyes after that encounter. I had grocery shopping and laundry to do. Do men have to get home to finish these chores too?
No, I cannot think like a man!