Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Face Is Blank But The Gears Are Turning

A large number of people, all out to get me.

For years, long-distance runners have tried to ruin my life. I hung out with them. I lived with them. I befriended them. I partied with them. I've been caught in their tangled drama webs, which athletic people can't get out of, let alone me. The drummer and guitar player of my first band (the almighty xTALENTSHOWx) were runners....I even wrote the lyrics for a song called "Pain Thresh", which pertains to their vigorous training regimen, but it never got put to music. I dated a runner for 6 months....she admirably quit, but she dated one before me and talked about him (albeit extremely negatively) entirely too much.

Presque Isle's Thompson Bay, looking idyllic.

So I was not surprised at all at the sight I beheld at Presque Isle State Park when I arrived early Sunday morning. Presque is on the edge of Lake Erie, about three hours north of where I live, and is understood to be best be the best spot to observe large numbers of migratory birds in the state. I had been anticipating going up there for weeks, but as I entered the park I was immediately stuck in traffic. It turns out that there was a huge marathon with thousands of people running around the entire length of the park, at the peak of fall migration. It was devastating, yet very typical. I couldnt go anyplace without hearing onlookers yelling "WOOOOOOOO! YEAH! WOOOOOOOOOO! KEEEEEEP RUNNNNNNNNNINGGGGGGG WOOOOOOOO!". Needless to say, my heart was filled with hate, and there were disappointingly low numbers of birds around that day. On Monday there was a huge push of birds though, which more than made up for the bummer that was much of Sunday.

My sources tell me this is a Norther Leopard Frog.

I think it came from outer space.

I also learned something on Monday. I saw my first Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and I have learned that they are awesome. I've been searching for these little duders for a solid month now, and finally got good looks at one. Right after I saw it, a flock of Blue-winged Teal burst through the forest beneath treetop level, in a celebration of my Triumph and Victory. It was like when F-16s fly over the stadium of an NFL game, except not really. Very appropo though.

I don't know if I've mentioned this, and it seems obvious, but you can click on any of the pictures on here to see the full-sized version, which are sure to generate some ooooohs and aaaahs.

Bird Of The Day: Pine Warbler.

As promised, I managed to take a few bird pictures. This is an adult male American Redstart, a common migrant out this way. I'll post some more bird pictures next time.


  1. Good to see you got at least one of the four.
    Dog walkers, by the way, are far worse than runners. Ever came accross a dog walker marathon with a thounsand participants while birding?
    Oh and the fact that you didn't see any Connecticuts is a sure sign that there were a few dozens or so around. Yes, they are like that.

  2. Yup, I was pretty stoked about the YBFL. A dog walker marathon? Sounds like something straight out of hell!