Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I live on a mountain where warblers are not hard to see or hear--trees, trees, murmuring trees. But I am talking about wood warblers. There are some that prefer a damper more southern clime. That is the crux. Outside of Florida and Texas, I have never birded the south.
I have looked for years in watery spots. Everyone I know has seen it. I was starting to feel like a total loser. Then the unexpected happened.
As I came around the corner and onto the boardwalk at Paradise Pond in Port Aransas, I stopped short. There was someone else on the secluded path. We nodded.
I looked for the Black-bellied Duck promised me. Nothing. There were lots of Blue-winged Teals, Black-crowned Night Herons and a cacophony of blackbirds. I continued to scan the trees.
The man nonchalantly said, "Boy, those Prothonotaries sure glow like neon."
I looked at him in disbelief. I whirled around frantically. I didn’t see anything.
Could this be my lucky day?
I tried to be cool. "I have never seen one."
The old guy said, "Well, one was just here."
I thought to myself, "Of course, that is always the case."
I fell to scanning the trees, then the bushes.
“It was just over there,” he said pointing across the small pond. “They really stand out”
I nodded numbly. “That’s what I hear.”
I looked right and left. I looked at the tops of trees. I peered into the bushes. I found the Black-bellied Whistling Duck. But now I wanted more.
The old guy walked off. I sighed, resigned to it being another near miss.
I whirled around. My fellow birder was pointing down at the water. I tiptoed over and right there at our feet was this BRIGHT YELLOW warbler. No wonder I had never seen it. I was always looking up. I would never have looked that low. And ya know, it does glow like neon.