This past weekend I put another 30 or so miles on Gary Fisher in a last desperate push to up my motorless list before my birding escapades will be curtailed by the arrival of a second progeny.
After making the necessary trek to the zoo to tick the still present, still obliging, still stunning Black-Bellied Whistling Duck (which now claims its rightful spot on the ivory tower reserved for Best Bird of the Year (both in general and on the motorless list)), I pointed westward to Eagle Marsh.
One of the first birds I saw was Solitary Sandpiper, which was also the only other new bird for the list, putting me at 108. For those keeping track at home, that is 1 less bird than what was on my entire life list when I started this blog three years ago.
An Eastern Kingbird followed me around suspiciously.
And I got my first officially identified look at a Monarch since I have been paying attention to these things.
White egrets were out in force, but they were all Great. No Snowy or Cattle this time.
On Sunday, I headed further out into the unincorporated county searching for shorebirds. The first things I found were a pair of Red-Tailed Hawks, one of which stuck around nicely. This was at the intersection of the same two country roads that yielded a different large raptor last Christmas.
The puddles in the muddy fields didn’t turn up anything besides a million Killdeer, a Spotted Sandpiper, and a muddy American Robin that I spent an embarrassingly long time trying to turn into an American Golden Plover. So I spent some time admiring the ludicrous flocks of swallows.
On the ride home, I detoured to check out another flooded field. Besides two Mallards, the only flighted life of note was this huge and awesome Pipevine Swallowtail.
Look at how cool this bug is.
To leave you, I present this Polynesian warrior keeping evil spirits out of the Waynedale rock quarry.