Sunday, May 13, 2007

No more nemesis

Well, at least no more of this particular nemesis. Thanks to friends Nancy and Mark, I FINALLY saw rose-breasted grosbeak in my own patch today. Sure, I've seen the little monsters elsewhere, but not here. Not last year. Not the year before. Not the year before that. And, of course, even people who don't make a regular habit of paying attention to birds have seen them here. Over and over again.

A spanky male,
and his apparent intended, appeared at Mark and Nancy's feeder two days ago... right on schedule. (They have notes for the last 20 years which pin the species' arrival precisely on May 11 on several occasions.) Naturally I was out of town. But this morning Nancy kindly gave a call and said the pair was still around, so off I toddled to engage in some hard-core kitchen table birding.

We probably spent 45 minutes peering hopefully out the windows, to no avail. Black-headed grosbeaks, yes. White-crowned sparrows and house finches and assorted blackbird species, yes. But no flash of magenta.

Annie the dog required her morning constitutional, so pooch and persons left me with a cup of coffee and a serious contemplation of karmic faux pas. I must have been very naughty. (No real surprise.) Why else would I miss this bird, year after year?

Thankfully, contemplation lasted precisely 37 seconds. First the male, then the female, popped up right before my eyes. Huzzah! Both for the birds, AND for once again dodging any sort of serious look at my personal failings tick list. Phew!

Of course, once the birds turned up I suddenly wished for my sketchbook. What WAS I thinking? A place with big views, a comfortable table, and beverages? Potential luxury "field sketching" spot.

Thanks to Bill Schmoker for the pix (since I didn't have my camera, either)... he has more groovy stuff to see on his website. Go there. See stuff. Have fun. Tell him I sent you!

PS: Hi, Mom. Happy Mother's Day. I know you're reading. :-) Thanks.


  1. Whow, pretty bird! Never seen one of those before!

  2. They're handsome, aren't they? And what you can't see in the photos is that the male's "wing pits" (underwing coverts) are that same rose color.


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