Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Novice does DE Winter Birding

I hate the cold, but there I was at the Indian River Inlet, South Side joining the joint DOS and Sussex Co. Bird Club: Winter Sea Watch!
My only second time, Winter Birding in DE; I knew the first outing would be devoted to acclimation. What to wear? Five layers did it! Two layers saved me: my Nike wind-stopper running jacket worn underneath my 20 year-old JC Penny's purple full-length down coat. I wore two hat layers: skull cap and a Nepal wool/micro-fiber lined one.
My LLBean fleece-lined jeans and shearling-lined boots worked wonders but my hands and fingers were in trouble. I headed back to the car for my "hunting muff" with the pocket for a heater pad. Now that I was almost toasty-warm I headed to the group.
Everyone was in high spirits with high hopes of a rare spot or two. One of our leaders informed that complaining of the cold was not allowed and would be met with 40 lashes.
Why would I complain? I was surrounded by happy folks with $,$$$.$$ of optics with invites to look-see! My eyes did have a bit of trouble adjusting to: is that a scoter or is that the roll of the surf?
The high-hilarity bird moment of the day was a Great Black Back who snagged and swallowed almost whole a jetty rat and then proceeded swallowing ocean water to make it "all better soon"!
Two and a half hours later...... my toes started to chill and noon was upon us. All I could think of was lunch: hot lentil stew washed down with hot herb tea.

Beach Blessings,

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