Whoever was in charge of scheduling flock members for field trips did a good job of separating me from the more raucous members of our group. Maybe they somehow knew that adding me to the Susan, Mary, Lynne and Beth mix would just be too much for anyone to bear. As it was, I did trips with Kathie, KatDoc, Nina, Jane and Tim. One day, for Cranberry Glades, I was all by myself and very quiet and well-behaved.
I missed the chance to be silly with the others, but one benefit of being on different trips was that the others could tell me what to look forward to on each trip. The highlight of the High Country trip for everyone was the bobolink field that we visited late in the day. Bobolinks and Meadowlarks aren’t new birds for me, but seeing them this way, surrounded by mountain views, was a new joy.
Another joy, whenever I’m out birding, is meeting dogs along the way. These two local pups barked their way suspiciously into our group, and Jane, a self-proclaimed cat person, interrupted her quest for bobolinks for a little doggy-love.
Nina took this pic of me that I’ll use when I win Birder of the Year.
That little dog attached himself to my ankle. Cute!
I carried that ridiculous lens everywhere for a week and took all of three bird pictures. The next time I go to W. Va. in early May I’ll bring my macro lens so I can take pics of all the wonderful wildflowers that bloom there. I wish the festival would have advertised that aspect a bit better for the likes of me.
There were lots of little, slow moving things to take pics of that I couldn’t really give justice to with my big lens. I had to back up a half-mile to get this soft pic of a funny fungus we found growing in a little vernal pool. We tried making it into Golden Club, but decided instead that it was some fungus that I can’t remember the name of. Connie Toops stopped me at breakfast the following morning to tell me the name of it, and well… I hadn’t had enough coffee yet, I guess.
The second of my three bird pics… a sweet Chestnut-Sided Warbler. My eyesight is pretty poor and I tend to use my ears first for IDing birds, so I kept confusing these with Hooded Warblers which were everywhere! No matter how many times I listened to the songs of both on my birdJam or asked one of the field trip leaders to help me tell them apart, it didn’t help. At least the Chestnut-Sideds aren’t nearly so skulky as the Hooded Warblers.
I was hoping to see a bear at some point on the trip, but the closest I came was seeing some bear poop. I didn’t take pics of it, instead I was amused by everyone else taking pics of it. Silly birders!