Sunday, June 7, 2015
Just back this afternoon from a wild and wooly Fri-Sat-Sun, entertaining 34 hearty and kind Bird Watcher's Digest subscribers at our fifth, and perhaps most successful, BWD Reader Rendezvous.
They were wonderful people, appreciative and soulful, and North Bend showed her best side.
We worked our buns off making sure everybody got what they'd come for. Bill, Wendy, Dawn, Kyle, Mollee, Keith and I never once rested, except when we fell into bed for the too-short nights before the 5:30 wakeups. But it was worth every bit of effort. There were a bunch of people there for whom this was the first birding event of any kind they'd ever attended.
We felt the responsibility of making sure it would be the best, too.
It was magic. We were humbled that 34 BWD subscribers would travel--some from as far as Washington State, Florida, Michigan and Georgia--to be with us at this heavenly place Bill and I discovered in 2009, that has become so important to me as a place I can go to soak up some of my favorite birds on its still waters.
A female eastern bluebird at her natural house
soon followed by her gorgeous mate.
This was my earliest visit in June since 2009, and hordes of tree swallows are finishing off their broods.
This satiny tree swallow embellished its nest with a great blue heron feather. Its young were well-feathered and soon to boot out of their low snaggy cradle.
Everywhere were eastern kingbirds, nesting out in the open, conspicuous and fearless.
A kingbird hauls a fecal sac from its three babies in their open snag cradle.
A summer tanager sings his lazy, halting song, back to us. He don't care.
Common bluets dip and couple on the quiet waters, the males clasping their mates behind the head in an oddly beautiful ballet.
And everywhere around, the stars of the show brought gasps of delight from our rendezvousing readers.
Taken this morning--a red-headed woodpecker feeds a soon-to-fledge youngster, as a tree swallow buzzes by in this precious watery nursery for cavity-nesting birds.
I floated right up to this bird, busy processing a large insect in one of its many larders.
I think every one of us realized how lucky we were to be here, seeing these things. Tracking down a black-and-white warbler at the hemlock-sheltered picnic area.
It was an honor to share one of my favorite places with so many good souls.