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I awoke inside my yurt this morning, read MOBIRDS, and skipped my breakfast of giant oak acorns as I searched in vain for the the Black-throated Blue.  After much frustration (that's not really totally true, since I still swoon over any bird I see, and I saw many) I ran into an enormous flock of fast moving birds that grabbed my attention. Following after them like the bird addict I am, I ended up tromping all over the outskirts and inskirts of Gaddy in the rain..."birding in the rain, what a wonderful feeling..." NOT!...highlights are similar to many recent posts:

Blue-headed Vireos - (4 at one time in my binoc's view)
Golden-Crowned Kinglets - numerous (Can you believe I just learned today that the male has red in his crown?...how silly I am...I thought it was just the lighting making the gold look red sometimes... until I looked it up today when it drove me crazy when I once again saw "red" in a few of their crowns)
Ruby-crowned Kinglets (I knew the male could sometimes show red on these guys)
Black-throated Green Warblers
Tennessee Warblers
Northern Parula
American Redstart (1)
Tufted Titmice
Chickadees
Summer Tanagers (that yellow is such a rich ochre...my background is the arts...we really need a much wider palette for these color descriptions)
White-breasted Nuthatches (no "red" ones since the one I reported about a month or so ago)
Brown Creepers
Numerous Unidentified and Confusing Fall Warblers  (My excuse for lack of id is that I was getting cold and wet and tired...while the rascally migrants seemed to be going at marathon speed from tree to tree - and my binoculars were getting wet - don't tell my husband - and they were all flying so high...and my body was getting more and more resistant to vertical neck dancing ..the birds weren't into making things easy for me on the dance floor...those tango moves nearly had me in a neck brace (oops, sorry Dave - you got that thing off yet?)...they weren't much for a slow waltz...except the Tanager every now and then....she'd slow dance with me...

Highlights in and around Gaddy not necessarily with the roaming flock per se, (although the flock did fly in and out of Gaddy at one point):

Catbirds
Winter Wrens
Carolina Wren
White-throated Sparrows
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
Red-bellied Woodpeckers
Red-headed Woodpeckers
Downy Woodpeckers
Northern Flickers
Great Horned Owls (2 )
Eastern Wood Pewees
Brown Thrashers

Nothing new really but I loved it....I am not sure I can keep this up, though - in the wet cold...or I might end up with pneumonia...I don't think doctors make yurt calls...

Speaking of yurts, many of you have made inquiries, albeit polite and often indirect, as to how I have the time to bird so much.  Since no one seems to believe I live in Tower Grove in my yurt,  I will confess that I am on a year long sabbatical doing research (maybe two years...we'll see - possibility of early retirement at hand) for a comic book/serous piece of literature that's to be part graphic memoir/part graphic fiction (coined "autofictionalbiography" by Lynda Barry, a fantastic comic artist/writer) and it's going to be heavily based on my BIRDING addiction/therapy this year...with a little of my checkered past (and present) with RADICAL ACTIVISM thrown in - ha!   That's all I will give away.  Yes, you may someday show up in it...not under your real name, don't worry.  

By the way, it was fun to read about Bill Rudden in LIFE LIST.  Now I can truly call him "infamous," oops, I mean "famous."

chris mcclarren
st. louis south city
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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