Reli(e)ving My First Birding Experience Part 3

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

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I will now conclude with Part III of this riveting story! You can read Part I here and Part II here.

After we adjusted following the inseam incident, we had to finish our count around the lake. We approached Mozingo Lake from the east with the intent to find some Snow Buntings. These little white diamonds rarely visited the area, and we had the zone most known for finding them.

As we entered into the recreation area, we encountered the vicious, yet adorable, Northern Shrike. Why is the Northern Shrike vicious? It is a Passerine that attacks and impales its prey on barb, spines, thorns, etc. This was a great sighting for the count, and we celebrated briefly before moving on. I privately continued the celebration for another 20 minutes, as this was a "life-bird."

As we approached the edge of the water, we encountered a group of Trumpeter Swans! These birds always bring great joy to me. After we marked down the swans on the tally sheet, things became interesting. Doc threw the Taurus into reverse and gunned it. As we sped backwards, we both felt the car hit something. We both looked back and saw nothing behind us. Doc grumbled something, threw the car in drive, and goosed it! I turned back to look once more as we pulled away. It was then I realized what had happened; we hit a tree. It was not a mighty tree, luckily, as we simply bent the tree over with the rear bumper. Do not fret, the tree survived.

Trumpeter Swans in Love? Yes. No. Maybe. No clue.

As we entered into our final zone of the lake, I saw several small flashes of white. It was our target, the Snow Buntings! This was my first time seeing these arctic breeders, and helped to spark a passion that drives me to this very day!

(Flocking Edit: I clearly ran out of steam on this story...)

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