Monday, April 27, 2009

Stop the car! STOP THE CAR!!!!!!

When you are driving with a birder in the passenger seat, these are the three words you must be prepared at all times to hear, even on the highway!

On a weekend trip to Caribou, Maine, a four hour drive, a very large bird flew in the air space in front of the car. I, of course, was sitting in the backseat, engrossed in an audio book and working on a flying geese quilt. All of a sudden, we pulled over and stopped. My first clue was the da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da noise from the rumble strips at the edge of the road, then the abrupt application of the brakes. My brother-in-law already had binoculars in hand and jumped out practically before we had stopped.

Fortunately there isn't much traffic on the way to Caribou, Maine.

I fumbled in my bag for my binocs, tangled in my camera strap, and jumped out just in time to get a very good look at a very rare treat.....a GOLDEN EAGLE, riding the thermals and making his way across the horizon.

The Golden Eagle is a bird from the West, most commonly associated with the mountains. In the sky, can first be mistaken for a Turkey Vulture as unlike the Bald Eagle, it has a V-shape to it's wing spread, and that's exactly what the front seat occupants initially thought they had in their sight. But as it soared closer, Don let out "the call".

Check out the size of this bird!!

Although not a lifer for me, it was still very exciting and the best view I've ever had. I DID add a lifer that very same evening, however. There was a large flock of seagulls in the old potato fields near Don's parent's home. He scanned the crowd and found not one, but two Lesser Black-backed gulls! They are a European bird whose winter numbers are increasing along our eastern coast.

I must mention we stopped once upon our approach to Caribou to scan a pond known for breeding Ruddy Ducks, and sure enough, there they were, along with one pair of Redhead Ducks and a flock of Ring-necks. I believe the Redhead is a life bird for me, as well, but I, of course, left my life list in Cape Breton.

The following morning I spotted 2 Snipe along the forested edge of a pool behind the old homestead.

Birds, birds, everywhere!!!! I'm so glad it's spring.


The Flynn Family said...

Wow. Beautiful bird.


Carrie P. said...

I do that too. Stop the car to see a bird. How cool that you got to see eagle. The one in the picture is huge and so are those claws.

Anonymous said...

Hia thanks for visiting my blog. What a lovely sight. I would've stopped to watch too.

Poetikat said...

Magnificent Eagle. I am known to yell, "Stop the car" for birds, cows, sheep, horses, name it, really.