Friday, September 4, 2009

I Wear My Sunglasses At Night

Last night was slow for nocturnal migrant watching on our hill, I never did see anything fly past the face of the moon. Others reported seeing a few birds here and there from sites nearby and far away, but all I noted were the flight calls of a few warblers and sparrows, and they only came after midnight.

Maybe I missed the silhouettes while my rods and cones were recovering from the brightness of the moon. I wore sunglasses while staring through the scope which helped a lot, but not enough. After staring for a few minutes I would turn and look at a patch of wildflowers in our yard, illuminated by moonlight to show white flowers as white, purple and red flowers as black, and yellow flowers as pale yellow. I could actually make out the yellow flowers with my non-scope eye. But if I covered my left eye and stared at the flowers with my right eye? They disappeared. It was an blind spot in my vision, a scotoma.

Which can't be good. But I'm seeing fine again now, so I'll be trying again tonight. Maybe I need darker shades?

David La Puma of Woodcreeper fame, a site dedicated to tracking migrating birds with radar, uploaded digiscoped clips of birds flying by the moon:

Don't blink while you watch!


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