Why I Shouldn't Go Birding Without Coffee

Last week, before I headed to Horicon Marsh, I stopped at Mr. Neil's house to check our bees and some warbler watching.  The plan was to check the bees Thursday afternoon, spend the night, bird in the morning and then hit the road to Horicon.  Being British, there's not a lot of coffee around the house.  I thought this would be a good motivator--if bird watching is awesome, I will linger and be late.  If I don't have coffee, the withdrawal will force me on the road.  The birding was awesome and one of the things I did was check out a red-tailed hawk nest that's across a ravine from the house.  The leaves were quite out and if I positioned my scope in just the right way, I could look directly into the nest:

That's the nest visible through my spotting scope.  It looks like the female has a fairly light head.  The male has been very vocal chasing anyone who dares cruise through his patch of sky.  Thanks to his vocal and merry chases, I've discovered that a red-shouldered hawk sometimes glides through (new hawk for Neil's yard).  To give you an idea of how well hidden the nest is, here is where my scope is aimed:

Here is an arrow for guidance:

Neil's house is on top of a ravine, down below is a creek and the red-tailed hawk nest is in a tall pine on the other side. Since the nest is a challenge to actually get in the scope, I left it set up there while I gathered my things and repacked them in the car.  I showed groundskeeper and the housekeeper the nest and continued gathering my stuff.

When I was about about an hour of away from Horicon, I received a call from Neil, "I was just looking through your scope that you have set up on the nest, it's lovely.  But don't you need this for the festival."

I pulled over and realized my error and shouted a loud, "BLERG!"  Figuring that shipping it overnight it would be impossible, I decided to drive back.  Neil's assistant Lorraine gave the groundskeeper her car and he drove and met me halfway--which was quite nice as he had plans to go the opening of Thor that day.  But thanks to all, I got the scope and made it to the festival and learned that coffee is a good thing for me to have when birding in the morning.

Sometimes I think it takes a village to manage a Birdchick.