After a crappy morning, I needed to un-blue myself. I just needed a bird. A "good" bird.
Now, they are all "good" (except for house sparrows and starlings, but I digress), but I just needed a brilliant flash of something I don't see every day.
Lake Isabella is my haven. I have "MY" corner, near the river. This little space tucked away from the fishermen and joggers attracts all the warblers this time of year, with the juicy caterpillars hanging from the sycamores and the relative quiet.
And red-tailed hawks, and gnat catchers, and waxwings, and the resident Great Horned Owl family.
Hearing a "zweet-zweet-zweet" overhead had me reaching for the iPod. Not a black and white warbler, but a similar cadence. (Those of you who were at New River can hear a B&W from miles away now, I think.) The "Squeaky Tricycle Wheel" sound. But this song was too loud, too slow.
A zip of blinding yellow helped me find the song on the good ol' BirdJam.
Prothonotary warbler. A surreal yellow, with black button eyes that seem too big for its face.
I dialed up the song and played it. I got an immediate response, and was rewarded by the bird landing FIVE FEET above my HEAD. Luckily I had my camera in the other hand, and I got this photo:
And it didn't just flit away into the trees as I expected. It sat there and observed me. It was a moment just for the bird and myself.
I let it watch me until it had its fill and popped away. I turned off the iPod (see here for ethical use of BirdJam software) and let the bird have the field.
That's all it takes.