Thursday, September 15, 2011
On Sunday last, Margie Macmillan and I set out to do some local birding to include Cape Spear and Goulds. It was an absolutely beautiful Sunday morning. This was double edged because while it was great for us to be out enjoying the warmth and the light breeze, there were hundreds of others who had the same idea....enjoy the outdoors (not birding.)
We worked our way to the last hill before the Cape and began walking the road to look for small birds. There were birds alright, but the car after car after car that rushed by created a never-ending roar of rubber on pavement and kind of dampened the purity of the experience.
Strategy #3: Two hours into our search we decided to sit on the flat rock on the hillside and do some gentle pishing. Mind you, we were not up on this hillside alone. Many hikers, children and dogs were sharing the space. Many would stop and talk and many wondered what in the world we were doing. At one point we thought we heard the gnatcatcher's distinct call down in the valley. That was enough to keep us hanging on.
Strategy #5, our last strategy: We were going to go so we decided to throw caution to the wind and pish like crazy with a mix of chips, kissing sounds and typical, but loud pishing! We were all out! Then, in a flash in flew many YR Warblers AND the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher!
We spent three and one half hours in pursuit of this rare vagrant to Newfoundland and it paid off in a big way. This is a birding experience at its finest. A beautiful day, open-ended time, anticipation and at last a look at a very special new bird for both of us.
With smiles and jubilation we headed down the trail feeling extremely satisfied!