Saturday was a great birding day! I want to thank Mark for passing along the Boston Globe article on the rare bird spotted on Cape Cod Mass. A Lazuli Bunting had been seen at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. This bird lives in Mexico & the Southwestern US, so to spot one in New England was big news. Chris and her friend Beth agreed to travel to Cape Cod with me in search of this rare bird.
I called the sanctuary to be sure the bird was still there and where would be the best place to find it. The bird was there and they said it was a regular visitor to the feeders in the courtyard. Now, this was Chris's kind of birding, we didn't even have to leave the building, just had to wait by the windows till it arrived to feed. After the cold sandblasted wind I made her trek through in search of the Snowy Owl on Plum Island she deserved an easy find.
We arrived mid-morning and staked out a good viewing spot by the large windows. As time went by the crowd grew, there were old & young, men & women some with high-powered cameras and others with binoculars, all with high hopes of seeing this rare bird. We waited a least 45mins, but nothing. I moved about the crowd listening to the theories of how and why this bird got to be on the cape. Some thought it might have arrived on a boat by mistake and flew off at the first sight of land. Others thought maybe someone was in the black market trade of exotic birds and this one got away. Still another man was going on about it being global warming and the earth being off it's axis and, well he was getting kinda out there so I moved away from him.
Without realizing it I had gotten to the back of the crowd which had now become three deep at the window. Then it happened. A man calls out "there it is!". The crowd surges to the window binoculars raised. I hear oohs and ahhs, but I can't see. I jump up and down trying to see above the crowd, I find myself saying "I can't see I can't see!" A nice man backs up and lets me get up closer, pointing he tells me the bird is on the ground to the right of the feeder. I strain to see it, I turn and ask the man "You mean that little tan bird on the ground? I was expecting it to be blue?"
I was disappointed. I was expecting the bird to be brilliant blue, white breast with a blue and rust bib. This was a scruffy tan bird. I mean I got up at the crack of dawn on my day off, dragged my sister and her friend on a three-hour drive to see this? The man tells me it is a 1st-year male (aka teenage bird) to look as it moves into the sun and I'll see the blue.He was right, now I could see the blue tail feathers, the dusty blue and tan bib and some tufts of blue on his head. Gee, after all, this little guy made one heck of a long trip from home so he deserved to look scruffy.
I came up with my own theory of how he got onto Cape Cod. I think it was time for him to leave his parents nest. He didn't know what he wanted to do with his life. The wind was blowing Northeast and he let wanderlust carry him forward. I hope he makes it.
We walked a beautiful trail along the salt marsh, saw 27 species of birds. It was a great day of birding. Great weather. Great company. My Big Year total is now 46 and counting.
Happy Birding, Jane