Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Swamp Thing

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.


Rurality said...

If you get the chance, you should visit Dauphin Island (Alabama) during spring migration sometime. It can be lousy with Prothonotaries at times!

Bevson said...

I do need to go south. Since I have now seen this warbler, I have found it all over the place on the list servs in the past few days. Oh well, such is life. On to the next nemesis.