Sunday, October 30, 2011
A post on the Discussion Group announced that a Scarlet Tanager had been seen near Bauline East in Burnt Cove. That is only about 45 minutes away so why not jump in the car and try to find this great little bird. I have not seen one this year and never seen one in its Fall plumage.
On my walk back I flushed three Mourning Doves up from the side of the road. I wonder where they were when I first walked by. Mourning Doves seem to be everywhere these days. I have seen eight over the last two weeks.
My birding buddy had not had any more success than I did so we got in the car and headed back up the road. This time when we approached the location where the Scarlet Tanager was previously sighted, we saw some junco activity. We inched as close as possible in the car and sat and watched.
Then all of a sudden I heard my birding partner say she was on a bird. I struggled to see it with my binoculars because of the distance and the background color that was impacting visibility. Then finally I saw it and started getting pictures. I now must confess that we thought we had the Scarlet Tanager. Feeling quite proud of ourselves we thought we could head back home.
Well, we returned home and I began reviewing the pictures from the day. It wasn't long before I really began to doubt that we had the Scarlet Tanager. It was just too brown. I sent the picture to someone who would surely know and got word that it was an Indigo Bunting. What? How can it be that I didn't recognize an Indigo Bunting after I had just been studying them? There didn't seem to be even a tint of blue on it. Anyway, the best part of the story is that it turned out to be a "life" bird for my buddy.
For both of us we reflected on how "wishful thinking" can color one's vision.