Yesterday morning, in spite of the damp misty tropic-like air, I decided to do a little birding at the North Branch Nature Center with the Vizsla. I was hoping to hear/see the Black-billed Cuckoo that they heard the day before — but yet another try and failure for this nemesis bird for me. However, I did get a wonderful birding bonus, one of those non-avian observations that make one glad he’s outside with binos and a camera.
I doused myself with Deep Woods Off before heading out but the mosquitoes were unrelenting — there were dozens swirling around my head and laughing at the repellant. I’m not sure that might also have be lapping at it as well. But the birds were active and Blackburnian Warblers and American Redstarts flashed through the foliage, singing away. The fields are like jungle but the center keeps a series of paths mowed so, aside from the swampy areas, it’s easy going. I had about 20 species logged when I came through a little opening and saw two ears elevated. I could hardly see the deer (in spite of being 6-3) but I held the camera over my head and using the screen, shot this picture.
I moved slowly so as to not disturb the doe who had not smelled us. The dog, being way below the foliage on the path, on a leash, had no clue she was there. The path circled her and she watched me the whole time as I moved away, but was never disturbed. It was a beautiful moment — she just looked so peaceful there in her big patch of tall ferns.
We went on the get ten or so more species including a Green Heron flying overhead. It felt like birding in Alabama and I was drenched when we got back to the car, just in time to see the day campers getting ready to head out and search the beaver pond for vertebrates. They likely came back a lot muddier and wetter than I — and the cuckoo better wait around for me — I’ll be back.