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Howdy from Hog Island

Friday, June 20, 2008

I've got posts pre-scheduled to get us through this week AND next, but I couldn't resist breaking in for a dispatch from Maine.
Taken yesterday on Harbor Island. I am holding Liam's head up because he had the wiggles, bad. That boy had holes to dig and porpoise bones to uncover, and he just couldn't stand for a picture. Obviously I did not get the Wear a Blue Shirt memo.

Gosh, it's good to be here, with a parula warbler singing just outside in the misty cool air. We've had the most amazingly fantastic time birding, and the sun, which had been predicted to hide all week, blessed us yesterday for our cruise to Eastern Egg Rock to see puffins, and for a butterfly-studded hike on Harbor Island. This is my favorite puffin shot of the day.

The kids are enjoying themselves; life is good. Here, Liam has discovered that it is possible to make a sand angel, just as one would make a snow angel. He is putting a special twist on it, though, making his sand angel enormously anatomically correct. BOTB's son, that one.

This morning, we take a walk originally plotted out by Roger Tory Peterson in the village of Medomac, when he led birding groups around Hog Island. The place hasn't changed much, and the walk is birdy as all get out--even though Roger would be 100 this year.

Yesterday seems like a dream--an all-day cruise around Muscongus Bay. The sun broke out and smiled on us all afternoon as we picnicked and hiked on Harbor Island. Butterflies danced in the hawkweed and we squeezed through a dark cave and found a fairy house on the other side. A perfect day was capped by the news that Bill would be on NPR that afternoon. He went birding with Melissa Block and her adorable almost-six-year-old daughter Chloe, and it was all captured on tape. We got to tune in and listen, with our whole Joy of Birding group attending.
Go listen here. It's like birding with Bill.


"Oh, what a thrill
To go birdin' with Bill."

I'll go check out the NPR piece later, just wanted to say it looks like you are all having a great time.


Wow, great npr piece! I'm now going to be late for work for listening to it all this morning, but well worth it. You two are becoming quite the media couple--congratulations!!

Hog Island looks like paradise, especially with the cool temps.

Perhaps Maine next year rather than N.D.

Glad you're all happy! Love the puffin!

You know, I was going to say--what's with the wrong color shirt--but, then, you answered it.
Love the description of Liam--every cell active at all times.

Great post and wonderful NPR piece. And wasn't little Chloe Block a dear? She had definitely done her homework before birding with Bill Thompson. I loved the ending. After listing his other accomplishments, he is labeled as the husband of Julie Zickefoose.

That's a great NPR piece. Chloe is so bright and Bill knows just how to spark her interest. Wonderfully done. All of that and puffins!

Best part, hands down, the bird with the southern accent.

Looks like you might have some friendly NPR competition.

The Hot Puffin Action makes me long for home. Great shot.

Howdy right back at ya! Glad you are enjoying the island.

Nice Puffin!
I'm so new here, I had no clue of the connection.

Sounds like an excellent trip. I'm seabirding too down here today.

What a wonderful season to be in Maine!
Sand and sunshine (and birding and buddies) will do a body good!
Enjoy being there!

S'okay, Julie. You got the "Bright Yellow Sunny Shirt" memo.

That NPR bit was awesome. Bill's da bomb.

I can't say too much about the value of taking kids birding.

I've been acquainting my now three year old grandson with birds since he was two. Now he loves birds and often points out a bird to me he doesn't yet know. I got him 3X binoculars and he is good for up to an hour of sitting in a blind and watching birds. He loves to look in a bird book and match the pictures to what he is seeing. And her recognizes the songs of our yard birds.

And I used to have an outdoor club of inner city children. One of them wrote me a thank you note for an outing that included a 2 hour bird walk with binoculars and said "you have set my eyes on birds". That's the best thing anyone has every said about me.

I just wish each birder would adopt one or more kids and take them birding regularly.

Marilyn Kircus

OMGoshh! (hi/random visitor)... You're so lucky! Where did you get to see a puffin??? I am so jealous and did a report on them in elem school when I was a kid. Pls write back. --PETER/SANDIEGO ps. wow that is some blazingly orange/red hair on your daughter :)

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