Monday, August 17, 2015

August birding doldrums

Great blue herons seldom worry about their weight

Dear Winter, I know in the past I have said some hateful things about you, such as about the cold and ice and lack of birds and it being dark at five o'clock, etc., but upon further consideration, I take it back. No really, I owe you a big fat apology. You see, while I was freezing my @$$ off looking for ducks or black-backed gulls over the frigid lakes and rivers, unable to blink as my eyes had frozen and unable to adjust my scope because fingers ditto, what I forgot was...late summer is just as bad. In its own way. Because by mid-August I am drowning in my own sweat, anemic from being feasted upon by so many insects, and guess what? There are no birds!!

You can probably guess, by now, that I have spent the past couple of weeks or so sizzling in the sunshine and not seeing many birds. Late July through late August is really about the shorebirds here in central Illinois, and because the water level has been so high in the lakes and rivers, we haven't had a lot of mudflats to attract them. In July there were some good "fluddles" (field puddles), but those have mostly dried up by now...so few shorebirds for me. (Although I can't really complain, as I've recently gotten two delightful life birds: PIPING PLOVER in a fluddle in Livingston County in late July, and BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at a sod farm in Kankakee County a couple of weeks ago.)

But, I am only a week or two away from fall warblers! And hopefully some interesting birding adventures to write about. I know I keep promising (to myself, at any rate) to blog more, but since starting my hospital job, I always feel so crunched for time, and I haven't had much energy left over either. Especially as blogging falls below other goals and pursuits, such as:

1. birding (of course)!
2. reading (my other hobby)
3. pursuing fitness and healthy eating ('cause I am so out of shape, it's not even funny); and
4. non-blogging writing (even if I have to self-publish, someday I would like my volume of grand prairie birding adventures out there for the general public).

But mostly, I blame my job. Yes, I am grateful to have it, but does it ever suck up all my time! Still, no whining...not even about overtime and how I haven't even had a proper vacation since I've started. I'll just let Nellie McKay say it all for me.


And I hope you are having good birding, wherever you are. Because as they say, a bad day of birding is better than a good day at the office!

1 comment:

  1. A bad day of birding is better than almost anything! How I resent working on a beautiful day. Our sewer ponds are full of ducks and peeps, but I still get very sad in August. Up here, in the Far North of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, almost all of the birds are migrating away from us, and won't be seen again until next Spring. Which will at least give me some time to adopt one of your goals, and get into some sort of body shape that doesn't resemble a figgy pudding. (Not that YOU resemble a figgy pudding!)

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