Saturday, May 16, 2009

Meeting the Flock

Lynne of Hasty Brook and Nina from Nature Remains 4-26-09

It is a sunny day as Nina and I set out for the New River Birding and Nature Festival. We follow the back roads of Ohio until we reach the highway and head southeast to West Virginia. The rolling hills of southeast Ohio speed past us outside the car window. Soon the wrinkles of the earth deepen to steeper slopes and rocky ravines. We cross into West Virginia at Point Pleasant via a bridge that crosses the Ohio River, which marks the boundry between these two states. When I see the name of the town I realize that this is THE Point Pleasant of the movie Mothman and the book The Mothman Prophecies. Both the movie and the book recount the historic bridge collapse in 1967. On December 15 at 5:00 p.m. the cables snapped and the Silver Bridge fell into the Ohio River below killing 46 people and injuring 9. I couldn’t help but think about it as we crossed the new bridge.

We arrived at the Opossum Creek Farmhouse late in the afternoon. A huge banner hung from the front porch welcoming “The Flock” of 2009. I don’t know who first came up with that name for this group of Birding bloggers, but it certainly fit. Nina and I tumbled wearily but excitedly out of the car. We gathered our gear and headed into the house to meet and greet everyone else. After picking out our beds and stowing our gear we gathered in the kitchen for introductions.

Mary of Mary's View 4-26-09

TR, From the Faraway, Nearby 4-26-09
(No, he didn't stay with us,he was just visiting!)

Wren, from Wrenaissance Reflections reflecting 4-26-09

Susan Gets Native 4-26-09

The always prepared, KatDoc!

Then, like any good bird blogger, we headed outside to watch birds!

I saw my first Blue-winged warbler at the Farm House with the help of KatDoc. Lifer! Here is the list of the other birds seen that very first day at the Farm House:
  1. Turkey Vulture
  2. Mourning Dove
  3. Blue jay
  4. Crow
  5. Carolina chickadee
  6. Tufted Titmouse
  7. Wood thrush*
  8. Robin
  9. Gray Catbird
  10. Cedar Waxwing
  11. Blue-winged warbler*
  12. Eastern Towhee
  13. Song sparrow
  14. Northern Cardinal

*Lifer! (First time seeing this species of bird.)


DeniseinVA said...

Lovely Kathie, all sounded very exciting meeting everyone. From a novice here in the birding world, when you say "lifer" what do you mean exactly? I have always wondered but didn't want to ask a silly question, then I thought well, I'll just go for it at the risk of sounding 'silly'. Thanks Kathie!

bobbie said...

It's so nice to see pictures of all those blogger names that are so familiar. Thanks.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Fond memories...

denapple said...

Ugh! Bridges are my least favorite driving hazard right after narrow mountain roads. But it's worth it if it leads to more beautiful birds.

SandyCarlson said...

Very, very, very cool!

Gaelyn said...

Looks like a great gathering of bird bloggers.

Quiet Paths said...

What great fun! And so many birds!

Dawn Fine said...

I wish I was hoo..maybe next time!
Guess who is still wearing his blogger button? Go to my blog and find out? Said you were a nice group..and had allot of fun!

Mary said...

Good memories, Kathie! And Good Birds!

Shelley said...

I'm really enjoying hearing about your group's trips! Nice to see these photos!

Doug Taron said...

I'm still wishing that I'd been there, and I'm not even a birder. It's probably for the best. I would have been bugging everybody the entire time.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Nice to see new faces.


Susan Gets Native said...

We be FUN!

Celeste said...

What a fun event and a 'lifer' straight away - that can't be bad!

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Oh, we are so sorry we missed this wonderful gang of writers and photographers that we enjoy so much. Congrats on your lifer!

Kathie Brown said...

Denise, that is not a silly question at all. A "Lifer" is short hand for a "Life Bird" which is the first time a person has seen a certain bird species. Most birders maintain a Life List of all the bird species they have seen and the dates and places they have seen them. Many more keep State lists, yard lists, year lists, monthly lists, etc. Some birders are obsessive listers (would that be me?) and many birders submit their lists to the American Birding Association to be counted for a birding competition. There are two books you can read about Bird Listing that are fun to read. One is "The Big Year" and the other is "Life List," which was just published. Both are true stories.

Bobbie, I'm glad you enjoyed seeing them. It was so much fun to meet them.

Lynne, Yes!

Denapple, pretty bridge though.

Sandy, thanks!

Gaelyn, so much fun!

Quiet Paths, yes, and this is only the beginning!

Dawn, I am intrigued!

Mary, Yes! and I already miss seeing you at the kitchen table in the mornings!

Shellmo, thanks!

Doug, you can bug me anytime and you would have loved it. It wasn't just for birders and Jim Mccormack from Ohio Nature and Biodiversity would have been right up your alley. You would have loved Nina also. She is more interested in the small things in nature. I think you 2 would have gotten on famously. I wish you had been there!

Abe, it's nice to see your face too!

Susan, is that Lucy?

Celeste, it was wonderful!

Warren and Lisa, wouldn't it have been fun if you were there! Wow, What a group we would have been!

DeniseinVA said...

Hi Kathie, popped back and read your answer to my question. Thank you so very much, I am learning little by little with your help and I appreciate it very much.

Larry said...

I enjoy all the candid photos of the bloggers you met up with.-I saw the mothman prophecies-the story behind that movie gave me the heebee jeebees.