Saturday, July 17, 2010
This morning Greenturtle and I went to the Hennepin and Hopper Lakes, a restored wetland in Putnam County. I had not been back there since 2004, when I went with the JWP Audubon Group, on my second-ever birding trip. I liked it but the birding itself was a little confusing. One the group members set up his spotting scope and I squinted in the direction indicated, while being told that the little blob I was looking at was an American wigeon or a northern pintail, etc. Today I brought my own spotting scope, and thought that with six years' of practice in the interim, obviously the birding would be easier. But most of the ducks on the water still looked like confusing little blobs, they were so far away. Perhaps I just need a better scope!
In the intervening years the wetland had come upon some hard times, according to the Internet, being invaded by nasty carp which turned everything into a big mud puddle and destroyed the cattail marshes. But last year the Wetlands people drained the marsh, disposed of the carp, and now everything is beautiful once more.
The reason I went today was in pursuit of a nemesis bird, the yellow-headed blackbird, which was spotted there just last weekend. As with the nature of all true nemesis birds, I could not find one today, no matter how hard I scoured the marshes. I did see many interesting things, though...