Monday, April 27, 2020

Plague Notes III

Spring is not paying attention at all, is going gangbusters. We're already deep into the second wave of cherry blossoms, and our tree peony is about to pop. So much pent-up pent-uppedness. I go out in the morning, alone, a man of mystery, and check the goings-on at a nearby park.

A few other people of mystery have the same idea, but we remain well-removed. Pale, crushed stone has been spread on the paths, which is loudly crunchy underfoot. Without looking, we maintain distance, by sound. Like a bat, like a cetacean.

Look, Gunnera!

I miss my birding cohort. I am a member of a continuing bird survey that runs twice a month and has been going on for 20+ years. One can bird alone, but you see less and you're less likely to wonder over the pointlessness of it all, if you are the sort of person who gets discouraged easily, or is aware that most of the world has been educated using a very different How to be a Human manual. 

But: migration! (Picture George C. Scott pointing at the big board, but instead of a map of missile tracks, it's weather radar at sunset, when the billions of birds become blips.)

So alone I go, missing some sightings, using my ears to identify by call, while avoiding footsteps.


Morning maple

What do I get from this?

Data. Sweet, sweet data. 

What do I do with the data?

Submit them to eBird

Thank you, eBird, for providing a purpose. 

Peaceful Vale


. Time to leave.

Today's list:

Mallard 5
Cooper’s Hawk  1
Glaucous-winged Gull  2
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Downy Woodpecker  3
Northern Flicker  2
Northwestern Crow  11
Violet-green Swallow  8
Willow flycatcher (?) 1 (seems early, have to check; seen, not heard)
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
Bewick’s Wren  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3
European Starling  1
Orange-crowned Warbler 7
Common Yellowthroat  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  10
Wilson’s Warbler  2
Song Sparrow  10
Spotted Towhee  4
Red-winged Blackbird  2
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  9

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