17 May 2014

Karmic fallout

Today's TOC — Toronto Ornithological Club — bird walk was on the Toronto Islands.  It was nearly charmed; an enormous variety of warblers (two shy of the location checklist) accompanied by a plethora of tannangers and orioles and vireos, and the good vireos; Warbling vireo was well into "what, another?" by the end of the day, everybody got a good look at a Blue-headed vireo, and there was a pair of Yellow-throated Vireo, with the male more or less posing carefully to be sure both profiles could be properly appreciated.

This came with a side of flycatchers, egrets, ducks, and extremely co-operative cliff swallows, pausing on clear ground in excellent light to pick up dead road margin grass for nest linings.

So when a TOC compatriot very kindly asked me afterwards if I wanted to come along and try for the Connecticut Warbler being reported at Tommy Thompson Park, rather than go straight home and feed Eef[1] I said yes.

This has been a thoroughgoing nemesis bird for said compatriot; nine years, and not one, despite a commendable level of diligence.   So expectations were not high, especially since the directions lead into the Wet Woods in vague and hopeful tones, an area already if not devoid of landmarks than not suited to specificity.
Connecticut warbler, that notorious skulker
There are a lot more pictures, most of them with focus issues, because even the excellent autofocus in the Fuji F900 isn't having a good time with a small moving creature in a thicket.  The bird was in good view for half an hour, actively feeding for nearly all of that time.

It leaves me feeling like I just benefited from someone's accumulated nine years of missing birds snapping and becoming the good kind of bird luck.

Even if I did start today on effectively no sleep, neighbours whose party didn't manage to end until after 02h00, and having black water back up into my bathroom.

(Averages. There is something much more comfortable about averages, than the extremes that go into the averages.)

[1] gooshy food has been provided.  Things have been thrown.  Eef has ensconced herself behind the monitor, and all is well, even if I did go away for a solid twelve continuous hours.

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