Jan 10th....my flight to Australia departs...I will be in a foreign land. As Robert Lewis Stevenson once wrote in an opening stanza of a poem:
Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad in foreign lands.
Like all poetry....or art, what you perceive of the meaning differs from what others might think, thus, does it make a difference then of what he truly meant, or...in many cases, didn't mean but later was implied by scholars?
None-the-less, Australia is my cherry tree.....just me. I grasp and hold tight of the trunk as I meander thru various visa's and permits, designed to keep COVID away. I seek out a way to be in Australia where I have, what at times seems like....lost relatives. A portion of my family reside in Australia and I haven't had the opportunity since late 2019, to linger in that foreign land.
Yet now the measures to not just look abroad, as I have done that for awhile now, but to actually 'be abroad' ....exist. So I, now, in these weeks prior....lie in wait and gently bide my time, so yes, I am still just 'looking' for now.
When in Australia I will reside with my crew....my daughter....my grandkids. With me I will pack, a fine binocular meant to welcome in nature and to offer, as I hope... a seed to my grandkids to build upon as they too might learn to welcome nature. Actually they have learned, for they do allow nature to beckon upon them whether that of the land, plants...birds. But the binocular I bring to them as an offering of my visit, will allow a 3D or a 'birds-eye' view of just that; birds.
So a walk in the park....of nature and things....now has new definition... Lying while Birding:
I see it
so they won't keep telling you
where it is.
----Naomi Shihab Nye---
Well.....I took a short Hiatus but have found myself back to blogging.....Currently I live on both sides of our wonderful country and bird frequently SE Arizona as well as South Jersey.
Just the other day Deb and I were out taking a walk in the desert south of Tucson. The Freeport McMahon company (copper mining), has provided the locals with a natural birding area of desert habitat.
At this time of the year, the popular kid of the month would have to be White Crowned Sparrows. They are floating in just about all the cactus and ground cover, picking away at seeds. The juveniles are very bland looking and the easiest way to ID them is to see their close approximately to the adults. Bingo....you have them. Even if you are wrong and it ends up another type of sparrow, 90% of the time you are right. So just learn to live with it, I suppose.
We also birded Arivaca which is the image above. Just outside Arivaca lies the Buenas Aries National Wildlfe Refuge. Their are several locations to the Refuge and one of them is south of Arivaca and is where the refuge is attempting to introduce the Masked Bobwhite Quail which has most likely been extinct from the United States since 1900. But scientists have been working at Buenas Aries since 1985 attempting to introduce these back into the wild. Currently they have been unsuccessful in doing so due to the range, habitat loss....etc. If you are lucky, you might be able to view them as they are brought in from Mexico (imported birds, go figure) but....they are in an enclosed pen and I have never seen them.
But the good news is that if you are unlucky in your quest, your best bet is to head on down the road aways to the La Gitana, which just happens to be the oldest bar in the oldest continually inhabited townsite. So best to hightail it back to small community of Arivaca and seek out the tacos available at La Gitana Cantina
Simply put....my kind of place..... Stick around as we attempt to make it thru another COVID winter and hopefully will do some birding myself.