Saturday, May 29, 2010


Well, not exactly new, but positive visual confirmation of a bird that I'm pretty sure I'd counted twice before as found in/on/over/around/by* my yard.

Don't bother looking for it here, I missed the shot. You would think that after nearly twelve years of driving down my looooong drive I would learn to look around in case something interesting was waiting for me—or not hanging around waiting, as the case may be.

::much frantic racing around to get into and through the house to get to a vantage point out a back window before the opportunity for a photo is missed::

There she goes! See, it's a drab (wow, I knew they weren't much to look at, but she's really dull), marvelous, "Hello, beautiful!" hen turkey. American turkey? Wild Turkey? What are they officially called, anyway? ::rummages around:: Oh, now that's just plain sad… They really are listed on the (admittedly out-of-date**) county checklist, and also in my first edition Sibley, as Wild Turkey. Couldn't anyone have come up with something a little less obvious and a little more visually descriptive? Exciting, even? A tom in full regalia is an amazing creature! "Wild turkey," bah.

The population of wild turkey (I'm not even going to bother capitalizing that) has been exploding around the county in recent years; they've even managed to cross the canal*** to reach the very-most tip of the state, which is no mean feat if you've ever seen one of these things try to fly. My only other yard records were from 1999, when I thought I heard one as it flew up into a tree, but an awkwardly flapping and cackling big brown blob isn't the best thing on which to pin a name. Then I had a note that I had heard one in 2007. I've had plenty of sightings nearby; there are fields backed by maturing woods around every bend out here.

But even still, I never really expected to see one sauntering through the yard. And certainly not one purposefully and carefully sauntering away—but not so fast as one would expect—so that the tiny, barely-visible-above-the-grass, balls of fluff scattered around the end of the driveway would be able to follow her.

Hen turkey with chicks!

Who knew that I would have to keep my yard mowed in order to facilitate bird watching and the taking of photographs? Rats, I'm going to have to put that push-mower# together after all. ::much resigned sighing::

* One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors: "English has too many prepositions." You may find the link to her blog to the right. +

+ And now I'm foot-noting like her…

** It was a new, up-to-date list when I bought the house.

*** Decades ago they disconnected the tip of the peninsula by digging a canal from ocean to bay in order to provide safer passage for ships. WWI? WWII?

# Still in its original box in the shed for, what, two years now?