Wood Stork, from home
The best part about this unemployment gig, perhaps the only good part about this unemployment gig, is the fact that I find myself with a great deal of time to get out in the field. Granted, fulfilling my state listing yen is probably out of the question, unless some far flung bird finds its way into my lap in the upcoming weeks (not entirely out of the question), but pushing for a few new birds on my nearby county lists has been really great.
The most recent addition to my Durham County list is perhaps the most rewarding of them all. Last year, in the midst of a Triangle Big Year, one of my most frustrating misses was Wood Stork. This is not because I really expected to find them at the beginning of the year, because I didn’t, but because there was a flock of 50 birds or so wandering around Falls Lake showing themselves to every birder who spent a good deal of time there except for me. I was beginning to thing Wood Storks had something against me – maybe they did – but their constant evasiveness was galling.
This year, a pair of young Wood Storks has returned to the very spot they preferred last year. And with a morning during the week available (heck, a whole string of mornings during the week), I decided to put this nemesis out of its misery. It was a piece of cake.
The bird – just one this time – was roosting in the shallows at the far end of a shallow arm. While I plowed through the thorns and mud to try to get a better look at the miniscule mudflats, it took off, finally landing on the other side of the train trestle and feeding with a Great Egret.
Piece of cake. #195 for Durham County putting me within spitting distance of the double century mark for this, my best, county.
It would be nice to have a job, but this free time thing is pretty sweet while it lasts.