Wednesday, 1 February 2012

No Redpolls and No Owls

There is a scene near the beginning of Jurassic Park, where the main characters are on an automated tour of the Dinosaur Park, and are seeing nothing but trees.  Malcom, the Chaos scientist, eventually gets tired of lack of Dinosaurs and hits the intercom and asks, "You are planning on having Dinosaurs on your  'DINOSAUR TOUR' aren't you?

I kind of felt like that on the Owl Prowl tonight at Humber Arboretum.  I was willing to give the Owl Prowl a second chance after having not seen owls a couple of years ago on the same owl outing.  Once again, halfway through the evening walk in the woods, and countless owl calls by the guide, I wanted to ask, "You are planning to show us some owls on your 'OWL PROWL' aren't you?"

But they are wild animals and it is nature and nature doesn't play by guided schedules.  But we did see rabbit scat and an owl pellet, and it was a nice walk, so no harm, no fowl.  Well there was a Canada
Goose.  So one fowl.

Earlier in the day I was lured up to Uxbridge with the chance to see Redpolls and maybe a Pine Siskin, but was thwarted in my efforts due to the fact that it is nature and birds don't always come to where you are birding.  Now, not that I didn't see and hear some birds.  And I did think I heard the Redpoll and maybe fleetingly saw the Siskin, but since neither bird is on my Life List, I could not with confidence add them to my Big Year list.

That being said, I actually had a great day of Birding.  I didn't necessarily see what I was seeking, but I was out and looking and enjoying the day and seeing other birds along the way.  That truly should be the goal.  No, adding birds to my total is the goal.  I wouldn't have driven an hour out of the city to the middle of nowhere if it wasn't the goal.  But I enjoyed standing on the side of the road, training my binoculars on the trees, listening to the bird calls and hoping to catch a glimpse of the target bird.

No luck today, but it's only one day of many and every time out I learn a little more.  I learned that just because someone saw a flock of Redpolls fly over his house in the morning doesn't mean they will be in the neighbourhood in the afternoon.  I learned that Owls don't always come out at night, but did learn which trees to look for them in during the day.  And I now know which Owls to look for in Humber Arboretum.  I also learned that while Sue is driving, not to play the call of the American Dipper, as its high pitched call drills into her brain and can cause her to drive off the road.

And a correction from yesterday: Sue doesn't hate Gulls.  She likes them just fine.  She just doesn't like having me keep showing her pictures of Gulls, relentlessly, in order to identify them.

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