Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6: Bird #100

Birders in general are a list-oriented group. We keep life lists of all the species we've ever seen, state lists, yard lists, and trip lists. I even keep a list of how many species I've seen at the Land Trust office (92). Earlier this week when we were on Sanibel Island, we met Don and Lillian Stokes (of field guide fame) in Ding Darling NWR. After learning that we were there for a week, Don suggested that 100 species was a good goal for a Sanibel bird list. Of course, we were only on Sanibel for three days--if he'd known we were also going to spend time in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and Everglades National Park, he might have suggested a higher goal. As it was, we decided 100 different bird species was a good goal for intermediate birders like ourselves. So throughout the week I kept close track and updated my husband each night with the tally to date.

We left for the Fort Myers airport this morning having seen 98 species. Fortunately for our pride as birders, we arrived at the airport having reached our goal. Bird 99 was mallard--a small flock seen in a pond while still in Naples. Bird 100, however, was an unexpected and exciting one: two sandhill cranes flew overhead as we drove I-75 to Fort Myers! So with some sadness we leave behind sunny Florida, our gracious friends who hosted us for the past four days, and all these wonderful birds, but we leave satisfied.

Westward flying cranes
don't know their significance
to these two birders.

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