Sunday, May 26, 2013

Good Birding Day, and Pagan Spirit Gathering

I got my Pagan Spirit Gathering information in the mail today.  I'll be going for the latter weekend (because I have a job now and can't take the whole week, but on the bright side because I have a job now I can actually... you know, go!).  I gave them my consistent-online-alias of Jack Warlock, so I hope to see some of you there!  I've been gathering camping materials both for this and for a camping send-off with a friend.  Plus, I like camping and haven't been able to for... well, actually exactly two years.

Anyway, birding.  Holy cow.  My feeders have been consistently alive all weekend.  Most of them aren't necessarily new birds--they're birds I saw last year or this year already--but I am increasing the county list somewhat and just the sheer variety of birds that show up all at once or within the same hour is awesome.

Oh, I also bought a book called "1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know" by Sharon Stiteler.  I admit I literally bought it because the first page I opened to was titled "Polyamory."
Not a bad book.  It gives interesting tidbits about equipment, birding culture, the "rules" and etiquette, bird behavior, feeding and housing, and birding time frames.  Also I got to buy it at Fireside Books which has been very supportive of the local queer community.

Anyway, where was I.  Oh, birds.  I saw lots of birds today, but most importantly I got some cool pictures of birds I've never gotten good pictures of before.  I mean, they aren't sale-quality or anything, but they're identifiable:

European Starling.  I know some birders who shoot or trap these
to donate to raptor centers because they're an invasive species
brought by people who did not understand the impact they'd have.
I don't mind the killing, but honestly they're here to stay anyway, so
I don't personally recommend it (although you can eat 'em, too,
so if you really feel like it...)

Red-winged Blackbirds are kind of a bully bird, but so far
these ones are playing nice.

Another Red-winged Blackbird.

I've been getting a ridiculous number of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.
They tend to sip from the oriole feeder and then hang around a bit.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird flying away.

Finally, I have a pair of Gray Catbirds. My only pictures of these before
were in flight or obscured by brush, so this is nice.

I got an Eastern Towhee and I was so excited because it was a new
life lister for me.  Unfortunately he was on my deck's steps and
I only got a picture of a part of his ass. But I swear it's a Towhee!