Friday, December 7, 2012

Striking Out

This hasn't been a very birdy few weeks for me, as other issues have required focus and time to head into the field has been scarce. Still, when multiple reports of bohemian waxwings surfaced locally, pinning the birds in one spot less than an hour away day after day, I had to take the chance.

Unfortunately, the day I headed to "the U" (University of Utah) to scour fruit trees for the foraging flock proved to be quite chilly and windy, and very few birds were to be found. A flock of rock pigeons was calmly foraging on the ground and it was fascinating to watch them gradually make their way around President's Circle, taking startled flight with every car that passed. After wandering among buildings looking for other possible hideouts for the waxwings, I did find a particularly cooperative black-capped chickadee that was holding a free concert with his liquid warble, though he wouldn't deign to pose for photos. The only other bird in the vicinity was a lone American robin, the only bird perched in the branches where I'd hoped to find the waxwings.

Too often, we believe birds to be reliable fixtures whenever they've been regularly reported, but as a birding friend once told me, "birds have wings and they will use them." Obviously, the waxwings used their wings and didn't manage to fly into my sights, but I'll keep scanning the listservs in the hopes of another sighting to bring a spark of birding into my hectic schedule.

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