In search of… July 4, 2006

This morning I am up bright and early and head over to Handberg’s to pick up my car. I hope I don’t lose my parking spot, it gets a little busy at the Public Boat Landing here in the summer. Living on an island has its challenges and this is certainly one of them. Just taking a short jaunt in the car is not very convenient.
I reach my destination and park my car on the Nelson Road. I don’t want anyone to think I am having car trouble and have them stop to help.

Well, I don’t hear the call yet so I take a short walk down to a vacant lot. The people who own this property have cleared out an area in the woods to build a house. They did this quite some time ago, but they haven’t built yet. It is incredibly “birdy” here in the little clearing. There are birds all over, I see a Mourning Warbler in a big pine – he has a mouthful of insects and somehow he is still able to chirp at me. I try to watch where he goes, because he is obviously feeding little ones. Unfortunately I loose track of him in a tangle of small trees and shrubs. I am just kicking myself now because Jim and I had an opportunity to purchase this piece of land for $30,000 in 2000. It has since tripled in value and now that I see how many birds are here it would have been a great place for me! And the best part is that it is technically in Buyck – the taxes are much lower.

Oh well, Hey there I hear the call I came looking for. It is up the road to the north. I pull out my iPod and listen to the calls I have recorded just for this purpose. It definitely sounds like the Black-billed Cuckoo! (I’ll have to save the Least Bittern excitement for some other time) I walk north and find where the call is coming from – one bird just keeps on calling “ku ku ku” in succession of three phrases. Sometimes there are 4 “ku ku ku ku”s. Just when I take a step off the road to go thrashing into the woods, they fly! There are two of them! Their tails are very distinctive field marks. Yah!!! Another lifer for me!!!

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