A little bird[er] drama

It started out innocently enough, at least for us.

I watch birds as I watch all of nature but I am not a birder. I can identify a random handful of bird species, think robin, blue jay, great blue heron, Canada goose, sandhill crane, chickadee. And probably some others. But do NOT ask me for a bird ID. Nevertheless, I have been subscribed to a locally based birding email list for about a billion years. It is a great community of people and for me it’s a chance to learn about places to go hiking, etc.

And then there is Swan Corners. It is a 4-way stop intersection out in the “county” (Washtenaw) that is surrounded by ponds. Most years a pair of swans nests and raises goslings there and usually one or more of the family is killed, either by natural predators, illness, or automotive vee-hickles running into/over them. I follow Swan Corners on facebook.

Today the birding list and Swan Corners intersected with a kind of a big bang. A RARE BIRD (Spotted Redshank) showed up in the ponds at Swan Corners two days ago. It was still there this morning and by then it was BIG NEWS! I was trying to figger out a Field Trip with the GG that didn’t involve Bed Bath and Beyond and he is a bit more of a birder than I so I suggested checking out the Spotted Redshank at Swan Corners. Huh? He was a wee bit foggy so I backed up and ‘splained it all again. Yeah, that’d be a good thing to do. So we went.

I don’t think he *totally* appreciated what was going on at Swan Corners until we got there and he saw the umpteen bazillion vee-hickles parked along the road AND ALL THE PEOPLE STANDING THERE WITH THEIR CAMERAS AND SCOPES. At that point, he was, “Park over there!” He jumped outta the Frog Hopper and ran over to where all the birders were standing and worked the crowd until someone who had a scope trained on the cute li’l birdie gave him a look.

I never really know how to talk to enthusiastic birders so I hung out in the Frog Hopper. It was probably a good thing to have somebody staying with our vee-hickle. I mean, while we were there, everybody was kind of parked haphazardly on the iffy-looking road shoulder but I heard that later on there were so many people and vee-hickles there that the sheriff came out and started ticketing cars that were not “properly” parked, which would be difficult to do in that location.

I was kinda wondering how the sheriff handled his encounters with this “mob”, an enthusiastic but orderly group of mostly (although not TOTALLY!) affluent, older, well-educated tax-payers “armed” with expensive gear – scopes and cameras, I mean. A bunch of friendly people sharing a passionate interest with each other. I’m sure the sheriff had to pick his words carefully.

I found out later on that there was a wee bit of birding-list drama in which the original folks who *found* the bird were accused of not sharing the location *immediately*. Sheesh! Those who found the bird have been on the list as long as I have and c’mon, they are only out there to pursue a passionate interest and share knowledge. One of them is a long-time beloved dean at our own Community High School, who I am sure is enjoying having more time to bird and do other things in her retirement.

After our visit to Swan Corners, we meandered around a bit more in the southern part of the county and then, of all things, I caved in and took the GG to Bed Bath and Beyond and we now have a new set of sheets (and an extra set of pillowcases because we didn’t read that there were pillowcases in the sheet package).

Oh and then Sessions brewpub for a wee lunchette in the afternoon. The beach urchins were speculating that yesterday’s meanderings would end up with soup at a pub. It didn’t but I made sure we did that today.

One Response to “A little bird[er] drama”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I love birds and enjoy seeing interesting ones (so did Henry with much more knowledge and an iPhone app) but I don’t have a passion to know what they are. 🙂