Covert Operation

Posted by Jane N on

It was such a mild day coming home from work that I rode with my window down. As I was driving along I heard the excited chatter of a familiar bird. All though it is acceptable to count a bird you have heard but not seen as a species in your Big Year count, I felt I had to at least try to spot the birds. So I decided to turn around and try to spot the birds. I pulled over and got out my binoculars and leaned over to try and see the birds out the passenger side window. But as I was on the right side of the road and so wasn't the yard the birds were in I couldn't see them high in the tree. I backed up a bit and tried again to see them through the front window but this time I was looking straight up into the sun.
I decided to drive forward and turn around in the next driveway then head back in the direction I started. I pulled over to the side of the road and leaned out my window with my binoculars. It was a whole flock of European Starlings, they were squawking and tweeting and hopping among the bare tree branches. The sun was hitting their feathers and their iridescent colors were shimmering in the sun. I was enjoying watching them, but when I lowered my binoculars I noticed that the homeowner was standing on her porch with her arms folded staring at me. Oops!
I pointed up towards the noisy flock and drove away. Perhaps it was only a coincidence but only a short distance up the road a Fremont NH police cruiser was heading towards me. I looked straight ahead and drove on. I got one more species to add to my list! Next time I guess I will have to conduct a more covert urban birding operation. Or I could become a jail bird.
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