February 21st, 2015

abstract butterfly

Hermit Thrush

Today when I woke at 6 a.m., the temperature was 15.5 C. By 9 a.m., it dipped to 7.2 degrees C. Then it rose to 8.8,so I took Beatrice for a walk. We saw Beatrice's only canine friend, a little Shih Tzu named Diva. Beatrice and Diva said "hi", which is the extent of their BFF relationship. Then they walked on.

At 11:30 a.m. I dropped my dry cleaning at Charlie's Dry Cleaners. When I drop off my tagged bag of shirts, I never know what will be there for me to pick up. Usually, it is something completely unconnected with mens' dress shirts. Today it was the green sofa covering from our living room sofa.

I drove to Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve in Plano. I walked along the woodland trails. I was going to listen to music, but my wireless connection was not good. So I took off the headphones. This made it easier to hear birds anyway.

I came upon a couple of people who were birding. The man used a huge telephoto lens to look at something, while the woman used her binoculars. When they noticed me nearby, they waved that I could pass by. They also pointed out the Hermit Thrush they focused upon. I watched it for a few moments. They are not uncommon,but a bit elusive, so I was glad to see one. It was "one for the eBird list".

The man showed me a barred owl photo he had taken. The sky was overcast so the owl must have enjoyed being active. I rarely see owls, so I was pleased for that couple that they got to see one.

I walked for two hours in all. I saw 21 species of birds among 74 total birds. I saw lots of sparrows. I did not see kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers or other things I often see. I did see lots of Eastern Bluebirds. A nice man and his partner asked me about American Kestrels and their falcon nature. I answered the question and also pointed out to them a Downy Woodpecker.

By the time my walk finished, the temperature was back to 15 degrees C. I went to Tian An Mien Wok for lunch. Then, as the warm afternoon wore on, I began to clean out my car. I took a break to go pick up Beatrice from the Mutt Bath, an emporium that bathes dogs and, more importantly clips their toenails. When Beatrice was ushered to the front, carried like a sack of potatoes by a nice woman with a vaguely A Flock of Seagulls haircut, Beatrice gave me a look that needed no explanation. She was ready to go home.

I continued to work on my car, getting it nearly shipshape, until I wore out and
logged my bird walk into eBird. My eBird life count is still low by birder standards--some 96 birds. I am always amused what will "up my count". Today, an entry about a common pigeon was apparently the first pigeon I have logged through eBird. I suppose I could go to my flickr photos, find lots of birds that are not in my eBird, and up my count. But so far I just let it roll as it is rolling.

I watched the show about two twin brothers who renovate seemingly hopeless fixers with amazing success. Then my wife and I went for Pho at Pho is for Lovers in Allen.
Now my wife is going to get ingredients to make scones for a friend, and I am settled in for the evening.