Thursday, March 12, 2009

Birds and Birdies in Arizona

My husband is golfing (and hoping to get some birdies) and I am birding in southern Arizona this week. We are surrounded by others from the cold and snowy Midwest and Canada, i.e., other "snowbirds". However, I am hoping to spot a few new birds to add to my "life list", while enjoying ALL of them. In addition, I am warm (I love feeling warm) and soaking up the sun to recharge my vitamin D levels.

(Addendum: I first spelled birdies as birdees. My husband finally corrected my spelling, thus it should be very clear that I am the birder and he is the golfer!)

I have had many highlights, but I'll list my "new birds" so far this week:
• Harris' hawk
• Violet-crowned hummingbird
• Gila woodpecker
• Northern Beardless Tyrannulet
• Gray Flycatcher
• Ash-throated Flycatcher
• Plumbeous Vireo
• Chihauhaun Raven
• Black-throated Sparrow
• Elegant Trogan (the Pièce de résistance!)

Look up that last bird (just 'google' it) - its beauty will take your breath away. It is considered "a find". :-) However, the best part of "the find" was that another birder, a total stranger who had already seen it, gave up her "spot" in front of the bird to make sure that I didn't "just get a glance at it" but that I got a great "front-row" look at it for my first sighting. When my heart started beating again, when I started breathing again, when I finally took down my binoculars to wipe the tears of joy out of my eyes from appreciating the uniqueness of that moment, she grabbed my hand, gave me a high five, and then danced a jig of happiness and celebration for me. It was a beautiful moment, one I will treasure forever, the joy from the "hunt", the "find", the beauty of the bird itself, and the totally unexpected bonding with another birder.

Life's little pleasures are sources of happiness; I both look for them (the birds) and enjoy the unexpectedness of them (the woman's jig). :-)

Remember the little quotation I included in my blog just a short while ago? Well, I just have to use it again!

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~~Marcel Proust

I was happy enough to find the Elegant Trogan. To have the additional memory of a new friend (even not knowing her name!) showing me such a kindness and then dancing a jig of shared happiness will make the experience of finding the Elegant Trogan even more happy, in fact truly 'elegant', for me!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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