Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday Evening Bird Sighting

Sandhill Cranes
(not black swans)

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?


Frances said...

Hi Debi, I enjoyed sitting on the deck with you being one with nature. The birds are being very romantic here too, right on the deck as I sit just inside the glass in the lazyboy with the laptop. There is a watery area close to my town where the Sandhill Cranes visit en masses a couple times a year. They even have a festival for it and birdwatchers come from near and far. But I love the enchantment of the black swans. :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever seen Black Swans, but I often see and hear Sandhill Cranes flying over our area. We are in their migration path. Love 'em!

Anonymous said...

Your black and white sand hill crane photo is beautiful. It allows for the mind to open up and to see more than the mind usually expects.

Perhaps you were taken back to a past life when you were enjoying black swans with a lovely glass of wine. :)

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Debbie, I believe you, truly. It did happen --you saw black swans. Wow. How cool is that?!

I loved your clear description of your evening w/hubby. Makes me want to do the same...I wish I had your water view! I can see the scene...the breeze, the jackets, the ripples in the wine; all lovely! Spring-like.

Kerri said...

How exciting to see black swans outside a park setting. Growing up in Australia I used to see them, but I've only seen them occasionally here in a zoo or similar place.
You're not nuts....any avid birder would be just as obsessed to 'name that bird' :)
I've thoroughly enjoyed your bird photos, and your enthusiasm for nature.
The snow must've been fun for a change, but yes, we're well ready to see the end of it here in upstate NY. Spring is in the long last!! Rain and 40ยบ this morning. The air smells good even though the day is dreary.
How wonderful that your mom found a 'new' sheltie. Sounds like a match made in heaven :)

Eve said...

Ha ha!!! I can really relate to your conundrum!! Carroll sounds like the friend we all need!
I love your words and felt I was there enjoying a glass of wine with you!


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