Friday, May 4, 2007

They Say It's Good Luck

On my way home tonight I made a quick stop by the Horseheads Marsh (bird list below). It was partially for the birding, but mostly to stretch my back.

Really. I don't think I'm turning into a hypochondriac, but my lower back starting cramping half way home, I had all I could stand by the time I was passing the marsh. I figured I could stop to stretch it out a bit and hopefully pacify whatever was ravaging my body, be it unrelenting cancerous growths, organ failure(s), or what have you. Or maybe I'm watching too much "House" these days?

Regardless, I stood on the Hump and scoped north, then south, recording the species I observed in my notebook, all the while stretching side-to-side and back-and-forth. Swallows abounded, passing above me, next to me, and sometimes lower than me, as they moved from the north pool to the southern ones. Not a record setting high count; on cold, spring days I've recorded hundreds of swallows. Today there were several dozen, mostly Tree Swallows, but also Northern Rough-winged and Bank Swallows in lesser numbers.

I was enjoying the experience of birds flying next to me, sometimes within a few feet. And then it hit me. Literally.

A suspect perched on a nestbox. © Mike Powers 2007

Something warm and slick landed on my neck, in between my hairline and collar. It took me a moment to realize what had just happened, was it a bug that got squished? A raindrop? Or . . . the unthinkable: did a bird just poop on me?

OK, it's not unthinkable, and given the amount of time I've been out watching birds fly overhead, it is amazing I've made it this far without such an incident. At least I wasn't staring straight up in awe, mouth agape, at an eagle, osprey, or heron.

That would have been gross.

Location: Horseheads Marsh
Observation date: 5/4/07
Notes: Not sure which species of swallow did it, but while scoping from the
"hump" one pooped on my neck/shoulder.
Total species: 23 - new birds for the year are in bold

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Great Blue Heron
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2
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