Thursday, March 09, 2006

33. Black Phoebe

I was violating David Sibley's first rule. Instead of looking at the bird, I had my nose in a field guide, flipping through pages trying to find the bird in front of me. It was the third one I'd seen on a stroll around North Lake.

This stinks.

I madly turned page after page. Long tail. Flattened head. White underside. Charcoal and Black top. Who are you? I never did figure it out.

On the way out we stopped and talked to an older couple, who were also birder. We told them about the Townsend's Warbler (our second that day, in two different parts of the city) and young Turk of a Cormorant we'd seen. We mentioned the pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks we saw on the way in. All of us speculated on whether or not the herons are nesting at Stow Lake. They then tried to help us diagnose our mystery bird. They listed the species they had spotted, and one-by-one I flipped through the book and compared.

And there it was, plain as day. The Black Phoebe. What is David Sibley's last rule, again?

Oh, yeah. "Meet Other Birders." I can see how that might be helpful.

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