Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday Evening Bird Sighting
Late yesterday afternoon, hubby and I were sitting outside on the deck enjoying our first glass of wine on the deck in a breezy late afternoon waning sunshine. It was windy enough for a jacket, but the temperature was temperate and nice. Steady gusts of air kept hair in my eyes and rippled the surface of my Merlot. Gulls are abundant now. They look like the fluffy stuff of milkweed and dandelions floating on the surface of the lake far away. We meditated about the red headed woodpeckers that were romancing each other in their usual raucous fashion, hoping they choose the dead limb overhead again for their brood this year. Bluebirds were feisty and in love, and a robin flew to a high limb and serenaded us during our few moments outside. Goldfinches and house finches scolded us for disturbing their dinner hour, although we were sitting on the opposite side of the deck. They've been spoiled, the finches. High overhead, well above the tree tops, a pair of long necked, slender, solid black birds glided westward. The setting sun set their red beaks on fire. What were these things? Not cormorants - too big and the wing flaps were all wrong. Not frantic enough, and the birds were larger than cormorants. Not turkey vultures. Too slender and fine with a very long neck. Not sandhill cranes - wrong coloration.
It bugged me all night and into the next day. E-mailing my naturalist buddy with TVA didn't solve the problem. He suggested I check my bird guides, so I did. Audubon bird guide, Birds of North America and the Sibley Guide to Birds. I became obsessed about identifying these birds. What the heck WERE they? No common and indigenous birds were standing out. Finally, because I was so obsessed, I checked each guide page by page. (yes, I'm nuts) The only bird that looked like what we saw were ... black swans.
They're from Australia, I know. They're not indigenous, I know. There's no reason for them to be here, I know. However, parks and botanical gardens purchase them so I can only imagine that's where they came from. I still don't know for sure. Carroll finally said to me "JUST SAY THEY'RE BLACK SWANS AND BE DONE WITH IT!!!!" I reckon that's just what I'll do.
So..........I saw black swans yesterday!!! Woo hoo!!! (don't burst my bubble......) No, I didn't get pictures. I was drinking wine, but had JUST started sipping my first glass. Am I nuts?