Rarely – if ever – do I find myself speechless.
Last weekend, I had purposely worked things out so that I had the whole of Sunday to write up a proposal. A proposal that should be done sooner than later.
Everything was ticking along to according to plan, when I glanced at the local bird alert with my morning cup of tea. 1,000 greater white-fronted geese reported…
WHOOSH. Schedule abandoned. Proposal forgotten. We were gone. (see last week’s post)
First we had to stop for a look at this large flock of long-billed dowitchers.
Then we started scanning the sloughs. Swans, Canada geese, mallards, buffleheads, shovellors, blue-winged teals, pintails. Nope no GWF geese.
Tundra swans are a beautiful sight, but nope they’re not the geese either.
We stopped to take a picture of a wary coyote, who ran as soon as the vehicle stopped, pre-conditioned to relate stopped vehicles with the blast of a gun.
About half a mile later we stopped to take a picture of a red fox. There were two of them, also pre-conditioned to run as soon as the vehicle stopped.
OK, now to get down to some serious birding. This is the slough where all those GWFG were reported yesterday. Hmmm. Scanning with the binos… Canada – swan – gull – duck – duck – duck. Well darn. It seemed our luck was holding in the great quest to add greater white-fronted geese to my life list. Mutter, mutter, mumble. Home we go to work on that proposal.
Imagine my surprise when I sat down to write this post last night. I had it composed in my head, a humourous little diatribe about our nemesis geese. I uploaded my pictures to the computer, and found GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE in them. That sound you heard was my jaw hitting the floor.
The birds were all on the far side of the slough, just a nnth out of range of my binoculars (which are going to be replaced asap) so I couldn’t see those orange bills with the white fronts. Yes,they really are GWFG, mixed in there with all the swans and Canada geese.
Now I feel cheated (and rather stupid). Do I add them to my life list when the ID was done on a photo? I looked right at them, but couldn’t recognize them as the species I was looking for. Does that count? I have the occasional ‘H’ on my life list, meaning I heard the bird but didn’t see it. Can I put a ‘P’ on my life list? Naah.
I may take up quilting.