It Was Nice To Be Missed

Holy cow! How much was I missed from my last trip? So much so that Non Birding Bill went with me to the location pictured above to find a brown bird (Henslow's sparrow) yesterday! We heard the sparrow more than we saw it, but we did see lots of swallows.

Here's a fun shot of a pair of tree swallows on the left and a pair of barn swallows on the right. I was trying to point out the differences between the two species to NBB. I said, "Notice the forked tail on the barn swallow?" He asserted that both had forked tails and I didn't know what I was talking about.

It's been nice to have this holiday weekend to recover and try to get my routine back. Although, it's very hard to get your routine back when you suddenly realize that you didn't have much of a routine to begin with. The first thing I needed to do was cut back on coffee, I didn't realize how much of it I drink when traveling--sheesh. I've been trying to drink tea when the coffee urge strikes and I think I'm finally making progress. This morning I didn't have a cup until after 12 noon. Hooray, triumph!

Sunday night Bill and I went out did something we haven't done for awhile, a pub quiz. We used to go to Molly Quinn's but that pub is closed so we heard a rumor that friend John Dingley continues the quiz at the Lake Street Garage and sure enough we found him.

Dingley (pictured above administering the pub quiz) gets around and I have met people from so many different social circles who know him: birding, falconry, renn fest people, science fiction people--he's even acknowledged in one of my peregrine falcon books! He has a beautiful tenor voice, can deliver a fine pub quiz, has done so many different lines of work, it makes my head spin and loves to talk peregines and swallow-tailed kites. Bill and I did fairly well (for us) on the quiz, we got 21 out of 25 answers right.

I got an email from Sam de Beer whom I met at the ABA Convention. He sent me a photo of the catamaran that we rode on for the pelagic trip to see all the shearwaters, puffins, razorbills and petrels. I heard that people who are used to riding on a single hulled boat often barf on catamarans because they aren't used to the movement of the double hull. I lucked out and didn't barf. One of my favorite moments was riding on one of the hulls and feeling it ride up and down, with the wind hitting my face.

I though Sam had a great name, Sam de Beer means Sam the Beer, right? No, he told me that where he's from that Beer is Bear and so he's actually Sam of Bear. Still a great name and fun guy to pal around with. He also sent the above photo, it's very relaxing and makes a great desktop.