Saturday, November 14, 2015

S.U.B. Comes Through Again

I've spoken about the shadowy organization known as the Secret Underground Birders or S.U.B. S.U.B. has its secrets but sometimes they share them when the mood strikes them.

I received a text message on Wednesday from a member of S.U.B. S.U.B. had information on a Red-throated Loon on private property in a very exclusive area. We were given the information to find the bird but we would have to go alone. If we were questioned we were to give the phase "We're here to find the Dancing Bees"

My wife Donna was able to make the trip with me. We made the drive in the early mourning light with no problem. The route to the site was every bit as tortuous as my S.U.B. warned, but by 10 am we were on site.

Red-throated Loon keeping an eye on me
At first I couldn't find the bird. Then I saw it! Red-throated Loon was Year Bird 474! The loon was keeping a low profile though. It kept its head down but you can see in the pictures it kept an eye on us.

We had not yet been discovered and decided to retreat as quietly as we had come in. We got out without incident.

On the way home I decided to check out some promising spots for Sprague's Pipit. While searching in the fields I spotted several Wilson's Snipe feeding in a wet area. A Western Meadowlark sang its song nearby. I don't think I've ever heard a Western Meadowlark singing this late. While watching the snipe I heard a bird flying over going squeet squeet. Sprague's Pipit was Year Bird 475! 475 is another of those milestone numbers that feels good to make. 500 seems in reach now. Time to put my nose to the grind stone.

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