25 April 10
I’m pooped. Between the walk into the campus arboretum yesterday and today’s walk to Pedrick Road from the house, and the three blisters I have that tell me I must have walked at least eight miles, and the pages and pages of the Moleskin accordion-fold notebook that are now full bar the final page (though why they use paper that will hardly take a pen, let alone a light watercolor wash, is beyond me…), I think I’ve finished.
Worst miss: American robin. Birds I heard but couldn’t see to draw: wild turkey, orange-crowned warbler, both towhees. Most unexpected bird: American white pelican. Bird I kept trying to avoid but ultimately failed: European starling. Most spectacular save: hearing Canada geese outside as I was getting out of the shower, grabbing a towel and my pen and notebook and running outside to draw them as they flew west-southwest. (I later saw a pair with three goslings on the creek and added them to the page with the hastily-drawn flyaways.) Birds I saw but wasn’t quite fast enough to draw before they flew off: Eurasian collared dove (a first for our yard and a first for my 2010 walkabout), Western tanager. Booby prize for the bird I think I’ll never be able to draw well no matter how many times I try: Bullock’s oriole.
Oh, and the not-a-bird that stopped me dead in my tracks: the river otter in the Arboretum. I hadn’t seen them since New Year’s Day. It was about 6:30 am; I think you just have to be really early.
Total number of birds sketched: 59. I had hoped for 60. But I think I’ll call it a day. If you offered to sponsor me, thank you; if you would still like to support Yolo Audubon in this birdathon, please feel free. You can still pledge the composite list or any one of the participants. More sketches are over on Bird by Bird.