Warbler, that is. John is now at 681 for his big year.
You may recall that last Saturday and Sunday we spent several hours at the Veteran's Gardens in West Los Angeles. I, and only I (drat), got a very brief glimpse of the warbler. Today, Sunday, December 9th, we returned armed with chairs and a cooler, sunny skies instead of drizzle. We arrived about 10:30 AM. The manager said that a gentleman had been there about 10 and watched the darling little bird flit back and forth from the tree to the ivy for about 5 minutes. ACK!
So we sat, and I listened to all the chips and chirps, jumping up when I heard a particularly short, sharp series. About 11:30 AM, an Allen's Hummingbird displayed at the top of the tree. John began to look up the display discussion in Sibley. I looked back up to the now empty tree top. A little grey bird popped out on the right, hung upside down and picked at leaves. JOHN! He dropped the book, got his binoculars on the bird and confirmed it was the Virginia's Warbler. Se fue, it left. Maybe, if he hadn't been looking up the hummingbird display in the book, he might have gotten a picture. But, maybe, if we hadn't looked at the hummingbird displaying at the top of the tree, I might not have glanced up again a minute later and seen the warbler.
Another birder showed up, spent a few hours with us, I got a few nibbles, but no more views, so John gave up on getting a picture of the warbler. He has identifiable pictures of about 622 bird species for the year. As we three left, about 1:30 PM, yet another birder walked in. I hope he got lucky. Man, that is one elusive bird. John has looked for it in seven states this year. In Arizona alone, he has looked in, probably, 10 different places, some multiple times.
Now, for why I haven't been blogging, and we haven't done much birding, this last week. First, when we returned from two months on the road, we found out our credit card had been compromised and cancelled, probably at one of those many truck stops on the road. That weekend, we got the Spotted Dove, I saw the warbler. Monday, I had a couple of doctor's appointments and John worked on moving money around. Tuesday, we got the car serviced. Wednesday, I stepped into a pool of water in our downstairs bath. So, late that afternoon, the Rotorooter guy came and reamed us out. The next few days were spent ripping up a small area of carpet, cutting out the wet padding and blowing everything dry with fans. Friday, the disposal was jammed. I couldn't find the allen wrench for it, so bought a new one. This time I taped the wrench to the disposal. Saturday, the garage door stopped working and a repairman came out for that. A tree trimmer stopped by and I arranged for him to come by Monday to trim our olive trees. Their roots are what stop up our main line, but, the trees are beautifully gnarly. Our replacement credit cards are still 'in the mail'.
We will start out sometime this week for the Pacific Northwest, if something else doesn't happen on the home front.