In the world of birding, lists can be very important to some people. Maybe it is a checklist of birds seen in a lifetime, a state, or a park. Some get their rally caps on and bird for 24 straight hours as a fundraiser.
Some pursue this same idea over a calendar year. How many birds can you find in 365 days?
Some even combine the ideas - how many birds can you find in a year on a given piece of property?
With the books closed on 2013, Natalie and I were prepared the start our '14 list at some point in the coming days. We had no idea our list would start literally minutes into the New Year.
The ball had dropped, the barley wines were sipped, kisses and well wishes were had, and the fireworks started. (No, real fireworks. Not domestic fireworks).
Standing outside the Fort Street Brewery, with bottle rockets flying and fountains, uh....fountaining, Nat and I noticed a bird zip past us. Given the suburban location in the dead of winter, European Starling made good sense.
But it wasn't.
The wings were too long and not triangular enough. The tail was too long, as well. With in moments, we realized it was, without a doubt, an American Robin. After all, we see them throughout the year and can identify them with subtle little clues in shape,color and wingbeat at a glance. Even in the dim glow of streetlights, there was no doubt.
The time? 12:06 AM. Yes, I checked the clock.
American Robin - our first bird of 2014. Perhaps I could start a "birds seen while lighting fireworks in the wee hours of the night" list.......