Life on a family dairy farm
in the wilds of
Upstate New York
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Elusive Number 51
Sitting here at the kitchen table with the back door open I hear a robin, cardinal, song sparrow and indigo bunting. A grackle just clacked by. If I go out on the front porch there is always a hustle and bustle of yellowthroats, yellow warblers, finches and others of amazing variety. I have counted fifty species of birds since April, just from the house and barnyard.
A few minutes ago I heard the third wood thrush of the summer, cool, liquid notes of almost haunting sweetness. Three kinds of fly catchers are an everyday occurrence.
But that fifty-first barnyard and backyard bird count of Northview birdy just won't show up. I am sure that bird I have been pursuing for the last five years or so, with the subtle little song that exactly matches Liz's old alarm clock, would make fifty one. But I only hear it and never see it and can't match its call up to anything.
Or that thing that was whistling down in the field last night just at dusk. I whistled back, but no luck in calling it up. It was a new call for me and I am always listening. Hmmmm......
If I added winter birds from the feeder I would have a half a dozen more. If I added the bobolinks, harriers, etc. from up in the field there would be lots...but I am trying just to count down here.....where, oh, where is number 51. I can't even get a gull and normally we see three species.