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Heron fail

August 2, 2010
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Failure is as big a part of birding as success.  More so actually, in that while success gets all the accolades around a round of beers and all the praise on the listservs among local birders, the vast majority of the time you don’t see much of note and the best way, the only way, to find good birds is to go birding a lot.  Which is invariably what those with a reputation for finding good birds do.  So perhaps it was inevitable that I would go out on my one morning free to bird, with one bird on my mind, and what I imagined was a fairly decent chance to find it, and completely fail.

It didn’t help that after a week of lovely clear mornings, my one morning was cool and damp and overcast a way that was completely foreign to someone who has grown accustomed to wickedly hot North Carolina summers, not to mention that this summer which has been wickedly hotter than most.  It certainly didn’t help that the birds I was seeking, the Yellow-crowned Night Herons that have come to nest in a particular waterfowl impoundment in south Durham for several years, hadn’t been seen this year.  The first kept the birds down and sluggish, seeming to have the same aversion to and confusion with the out of season weather as I did.  The second I brushed off as par for the course for secretive Night Herons at a little surveyed locale.

Long story short, I did not see the Herons.  They had either fledged and vamoosed or they were never there in the first place this year as I haven’t heard any reports of the species in the triangle all summer.  I did not see much of anything actually, but a dozen Indigo Buntings, a couple Red-headed Woodpeckers, and the few birds that make up a woodland just about anywhere in the eastern United States.  It’s hard to say any morning out is a complete failure, as just walking the beat is fun enough, but I’m going to have to find some more time to go birding.  Too many days like this can wear on a guy.

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One Comment
  1. August 3, 2010 2:22 pm

    I haven’t seen a YCNH in NC (my lifer is from SC), but I found one while I was on vacation in San Diego, CA. Go figure!

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