I and the Bird

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

#6 Fort Williams, Maine in March

You'll see that a bunch of my top 10 days were at the very start of my year. I've only been at this listing thing a short time (I would say that my knowledge of birds was fairly good before I started going seriously; I knew what cormorants were, but I didn't know what a double-crested cormorant was). About 350 days ago, I didn't know a bufflehead from a duffel bag. I thought goldeneye was a Bond movie, orioles played baseball in Baltimore and longspurs were things worn by short cowboys. [I've progressed quickly in the past year. I swear]. Anyway, what was so fun about those first days of identification was that suddenly EVERYTHING was possible. Before I knew (had memorized) the details of where birds are likely to be found and when, I figured anything could be anywhere. Every single bird my binoculars hit on was new. It was incredible fun.

At the tail end of a fantastic road trip undertaken my Kate and I (the same trip where I began ID'ing birds), we made our way back to my homestate of Maine for my birthday (March 31...it's coming up!). Although I had only been looking for birds for about a week, I was incredibly excited about doing some birding in Maine. The first place we went was Fort Williams, the gorgeous oceanfront home of Portland Head Light. Crunching over snow and slipping in the mud, Kate and I trained our binoculars on everything that fluttered. As one would expect from a winter coast in Maine, it was a seabird bonanza. Eiders, scoters, goldeneye, loons, buffleheads long-tailed ducks and millions of confusing, confusing gulls (we saw a pair of gulls we were certain were California gulls...I still believe). New birds everywhere, on the beautiful Maine coast with Kate...one of the best days I can imagine.
Peterson in the back pocket?  Ballin'
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