But it was the story I left out from yesterday afternoon that should provide a little background to my early evening birding. I was walking all over this neighbourhood looking for the non-existent Budgerigar, and prior to spotting the Thrasher, when a car drove up to me, and stopped. I thought, "I have a bad feeling about this," and I was not wrong. The man, in an accusatory fashion, looked out his open window, and with just a hint of anger and mistrust said, "What ya doin' here? You a Peeping Tom or something?"
I was taken aback, but had kind of expected that's what he was going to say. I've stalked birds in neighbourhoods before and wondered what people might be thinking if they looked out their windows. I said, "No, I am a birder, I'm peeping at birds." He looked doubtful, and said, "We're a close-knit community and look out for each other." I nodded and said, "I'm just looking at birds. Really. Here, you want to see all the naughty photos I've taken?" And I showed him the screen of my camera and paged through the Palm Warblers and Mocking Birds and ducks. He relaxed a bit, and I said, "you know, you could have just asked nicely what I was up to, rather than jumping to concusions. Then he surprised me, put out his hand to shake mine and apologized for jumping to conclusions without evidence. I guess he must be the neighbourhood Gladys Kravitz. We parted on amiable terms.
And it was as I was walking back to my car that I was rewarded for the above indignity by getting the Brown Thrasher and learning a valuable lesson about birding in close-knit communities. And in an ironic twist, I need not have even gone there to get that Brown Thrasher, as last night, in Dunedin Hammock Park, the first bird I saw as I walked into the hammock was, naturally, a Brown Thrahser. I had started my day very early to drive to Circle Bar Reserve, where I was able to add another bird, a Lesser Yellow-Legs, and get a couple of nice photos of an American Bittern.
How about that.
Included in the following photos from the past two days, is one of the pink blob that turned out to be the American Flamingo, when viewed through my 35 power scope.
Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron