Friday, September 21, 2007

Birding with KatDoc is really the Pits (or, If you are birding with OLDER people, remember to bring an ear trumpet)

*I have had a day for the books, y'all. First, I tried to capture the "cute" little orange kitten, and was rewarded by 14 puncture wounds in my right arm. After wrapping it in gauze, Lorelei went out to Stonelick Lake to wade in the water, feel the sand between our toes, and maybe see some birds. We were there 2 minutes, and my CAMERA broke. (The lens won't retract) So, instead of going through the horror of maybe seeing some great birds and NOT being able to take any pictures, we left and went to Best Buy, where I said goodbye to my camera for 2 to 3 WEEKS. (Tip: If you spend more than $200 on anything, GET the WARRANTY)
I am forced to use my very old, very slow camera that has a whole 2.8 X zoom, and 3 whopping megapixels.*

Word to the wise:
If you ever get to go birding with KatDoc, be prepared to see NO BIRDS WHATSOEVER. I have birded with her before, and really have yet to see anything interesting.
Of course, it might not be that there aren't any birds to be found, but instead that we spend so much time laughing hysterically, we are missing them all.
I bet Kathi will beat me to the post, since this camera was made by cavemen. And since I no longer have the software for this camera, I had to up load the pics through Picasa, and then I couldn't find where they had gone to.

We went to That Place. The one that is illegal unless you have a permit. Or, in Kathi's case, you know someone "on the inside".

The trip list, as far as I can remember:
Pied-billed grebes
4 Cardinals
4+ Carolina chickadees
2 Wood ducks
7 billion mallards
2 Least sandpipers
7 billion killdeer (or maybe it was just one, and it was following us)
Some American coots
1 million mourning doves (or MO-DO's, as Kathi calls them)
Black ducks, we think
A flock of Canada geese
Some kind of hawk, a tiny speck on the horizon
Gray catbirds
A whitetail deer (I saw this one, but Kathi missed it because she was too busy looking through her binoculars at a stick)
A snake
Turtle heads (presumably attached to turtle bodies, but we weren't sure)

I was actually one up on Kathi here, because I had driven in to the place before, albeit illegally.
Isn't it pretty?
We found a really dead goose.
Since we haven't had any rain, the body was in very good shape (the naturalist said it had been there for a long time). So we pulled a "Julie" and poked and prodded it, puzzling out what might have happened to it. And took 127 pictures of it.
Chimpin'!! Eee! Eee! Eee!
This was our best moment of the evening...a fall warbler. After a lot of field guide digging, we are calling it a Prairie warbler. And Kathi saw a Nashville, but I missed it. I must have been straining to ID a clump of mud on the far shore.
The water is more than four feet below what it was this time last year. Makes for fun rock formations. (The white dot is the reflection of the moon)
God help me, but as I was trying to take a picture of the moon and its reflection, pulling another "Julie" by getting into a really strange pose, Kathi took a picture of me. Can't wait to see that one!
*Just checked Kathi's blog, and she must have gone to bed or something, so check out her version of our excursion tomorrow!
Edit: The Zick has chimed in, and the warbler is a Cape May, not a Prairie. Damn. Woulda been a lifer.


KatDoc said...

eh? What did you say?

I am NOT in bed, you young whippersnapper, I am still uploading photos, shoving them through the phone line by hand and then cranking the handle.

~Kathi, who is older than her dial-up system, but not by much

Dave said...

I like using Picasa. I'm getting to know it more and more all the time. Best of luck with your camera.

mon@rch said...

O my goodness - such an interesting visit for sure! But I do have one question? What's it like seeing 7 billion killdeer?

KatDoc said...

It wasn't really 7 billion killdeer. It was 7 killdeer, 1 billion times each.

And to answer your question, 7 x 1 billion killdeer were more interesting that the rocks and sticks (just barely.)


Mary said...

Susan, you are a gem. Under the worst circumstances, you crack me UP!

I am so sorry about your camera...I feel your pain. And you will have it back soon, but, I really think you can do a fantastic photo-less blog. Your stories and words are awesome.

Q said...

So many birds! Wow! When I broke my camera I was so upset! I understand....
I must get out birding. Seeing any Warbler would be a delight.

NatureWoman said...

Oh, argh about your camera! That totally sucks. But your photos are cool anyway! OMG I love the photo of you that Kathi took!! What we won't do to try to get decent photos. Blogging has helped us to meet interesting people, hasn't it?

dguzman said...

OMG, what if my camera breaks at Cape May?!

Cool post. Man, that Chimp can ID anything; it took me like four minutes just to actually FIND the bird in that photo. It mixed in with that golden backdrop so well!