Saturday, October 18, 2008

A little help now and then

I have to admit having a preference for roaming alone. That way if I see something interesting there's no pressure to move on because someone else is antsy. However, sometimes it helps to have an expert nearby. "Look, look, that's a field sparrow". I never would have noticed. There are lots of different kinds of sparrows and my eye is not yet "sparrow-alert". My brain also equates yellow/black with the goldfinch, so when I photographed a "goldfinch" and showed the image to one of the best experts who was right there, Cal Vornberger, his reply was, "that's a scarlet tanager". That blew my mind. Scarlet tanager is red/ black, right? Not in the autumn. They turn yellow. Or this could have been an immature tanager. Didn't matter. I learned something new. I like watching a sparrow eating a cupcake. That's an easy ID. I really appreciate an expert when something different appears.

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