Monday, November 29, 2010

The thrush, again

One varied thrush, a visitor from the northwest, very much off course, and a flock of bird watchers. There seems to be a pattern........ bird is seen, bird flies off, first group of birders moves on, next group of birders arrive, eventually bird reappears. There's a lot of waiting around until bird reappears. Lots of searching,- left, right, north, south. Suddenly there's action at the north end of the Maintenance Meadow by the men's bathroom. Can you see it? See that tree up by the fence? Go left. See the leaves. In the leaves. In the leaves? IN the leaves??? UNDER the leaves! This little bird chose the right spot today, overhead protection, lots of leaves with grub underneath, acorns to be cracked open, branches to work under, visibility for humans very difficult. Do you see it? There, under the leaves. Just look for the leaves. (Thousands of leaves!) Do you see it? It's out in the open. Open? Branches in way. Leaves in way. Rocks in way. More birders. Yes, yes. it's right up there, near the fence. See that tree. Go to the left, the right, not up, down on the ground, behind that tree. Yes, behind the tree. (Oh, if only I had an x-ray lens, or x-ray eyeballs!) There it is, in those leaves. See the leaves? The leaves on the right. There's a protocol for watching. Don't get too close. Let everyone see. No loud noises. See! There it is, right behind that branch, the branch next to the tree on the left that tilts to the right, under the leaves, behind the rock. On the ground. To say I was having the giggles is to put it mildly. This sweet bird looks differently in shadow, then in sunlight. It was really finding lots of food. I think. I can't see under leaves. Bird looks plump. I could see when it banged acorns open like a woodpecker and ate the grub from inside. It's a very pretty bird, smaller than a robin, doing standard thrush behavior. As I was heading back here I met another couple, binoculars in hand, running to see I-knew-what. Yes, it's there. (It will be a life bird for this couple.) I hope it stays around for a few days and everyone can get to see it. Besides I like the fun of watching the birders as well as the bird.

Cracking acorns. A little jackhammer.

An 800mm lens would have helped, but I'm not about to shell out $10,000 for one lens that will never pay for itself.

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