Life Bird #450
Yes, the above statement is true, I’ve hit the 450 mark in life birds. Just when I thought it would take a while for this to happen after spotting the Cinnamon Teal giving me 449 species. If you remember it was on the 29th of March when I drove those 3 plus hours into Ohio’s Amish country (somewhere I’ve never visited before) to track down that beautiful Drake Cinnamon Teal.
Well for the life of me I never thought that I would be venturing back into what can only be described as very rural Amish Country in this “bird crazy” month of April. And I mean crazy. Just in the past few weeks we’ve had a fly over Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, never relocated. A 1st year male Painted Bunting, a breeding male Western Tanager, of course the Cinnamon Teal, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, and a White-winged Dove. This is the stuff that makes birders’ head swim with excitement. However I showed great control since I’ve ticked these birds off my “Life List” already. It’s not that I’m lazy, but I have to be picky over which bird to chase.
Well the chase was on when just 2 days ago 2 bothers went fishing at this small farm pond over in the heart of Holmes County Ohio. Among the rolling hills, horse drawn buggies, dirt roads, Amish children on bikes, friendly waves, and clothes drying on the lines, they discovered a Black-throated Gray Warbler.
I never thought in a million years that the bird would stick around till the next day, but that old “twitch” kept nagging at me. So after Kathy went to work I grabbed my gear and left the house at 7:30 in hopes of putting some miles down. My plan was to pull over a few times and check Facebook to see if it was still being seen. If it was, then I’m in good position with miles covered. If not, then I just turn around and go home. Well it stayed through the night and this really helped my mood.
My GPS took me through some of the nicest parts of Ohio I’ve ever seen, but on some of the worst back roads the bird-mobile has been on. After getting turned around once, I finally made it to this nondescript dirt drive where I noticed a couple cars pulling out. This has to be it. Not too many cars in this part of Ohio.
“Yes, “the bird is still there” came her reply to my obvious question. Testing the suspension on the drive back, I finally pulled off and parked. I pulled on my harness and clicked in my bins and camera and walked over to where 2 guys were busy focusing their cameras on what can only be the bird.
Hooray for Lifers!