BY10: Pathétique December 20, 2012Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
Pathetic. That’s what it is. Pathetic.
—Eeyore, in Winnie the Pooh, Chapter VI, In Which Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents
“I had two golden-crowned kinglets cleaning up scraps on the suet feeder for a couple of days last week!” writes Danny. “Bring your list along, and we can finalize the big year total.”
Ah, yes. Our big year. The big year during which I may have seen fewer birds than most years. But who knows? I wasn’t counting in previous years.
I had relied on our westward trek to produce numbers. I’m still flummoxed as to why it did not.
I have added only one bird to my personal list since that trip, bringing my total to 110. Thing is, it was a great bird to add.
Vermont is in the evening grosbeak’s year-round range, but for some reason, I hadn’t seen one in about a decade. On October 28, while Hurricane Sandy was moving north, I was having breakfast, minding my own business, when one, then another, (then another?) evening grosbeak landed on my bird feeder.
This was ridiculously thrilling for me.
A few days later, I was in a neighboring town and saw birds feeding in a tree on late-season berries. I assumed they were cedar waxwings and went to take a closer look. Nope—more evening grosbeaks!
But that was weeks ago. In a few days—barring bad weather and/or full force of the colds that seem to be creeping into our exhausted bodies—we will head south to visit family, and Danny and Tim and I will merge our lists and come up with some number that I had very much hoped would hover around 250. It’s pretty clear that we won’t hit 150. Damn you, elusive Colorado birds! Damn you, lifestyle that keeps me inside all the time! Damn you, lack of focused obsession!
Still, I love birds, including—perhaps especially—my quotidian feeder friends, who are always first to be counted.