Sunday, May 3, 2009

Joe Neal reports on Saturday's birding trek to Lake Fayetteville natural area

It rained most of the night & well into the morning: it amazes me that
even 12 showed for the NWAAS Lake Fayetteville field trip. We dodged
showers (AKA, liquid sunshine) from above & endured creeping dampness
& cold within. It would rain a while, and we'd walk for cover. We
stood under the eaves at the environmental study center during several
downpours and wonder if our boots could take more of it. Finally we
were all just soaked and took off on a long hike. When everything is
soaking, it's hard to see or feel difference. Between showers, we
found what we'd come for: 17-18 warbler species, 5 vireo species,
transient Gray-cheeked & Swainson's Thrushes, brilliant Baltimore
Orioles (illumination midst general rain glooms)...maybe "best bird"
(?)was Golden-winged Warbler (rare, hence a pleaser in w. AR), but we
exhaulted in good looks at Blue-headed Vireos, even with fogged bins,
even with water streaming down faces, etc etc.

...the coveted endurance our very own SALLY JO GIBSON!!! In
the cold & rain, a few weeks after surgery, long hikes, good cheer,
good girlhood Ivory-billed Woodpecker story, as another shower swept
through, long drive home. Thanks SJ.

JOSEPH C. NEAL in Fayetteville, Arkansas

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