Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Dangers of Birding with Dan

We love birding with Dan Haas of Nervous Birds.

Dan is entertaining. He has loads of corny jokes which make hot July days when no birds are singing still fun.

Dan is fearless. He has no problem entering dump sites, tick infested fields or scary neighborhoods to fetch out a bird.

Dan has an amazing voice and leads the hottest band in Annapolis. You should hear him do the theme to the Love Boat.

Dan has a wife and baby boy that are crazy wonderful.

Dan does need to get himself a pair of Alpen Bins, though.

So, on Sunday, we were super excited to spend a few hours in the Annapolis area checking out the nesting birds and what-have-you in the woods and fields around our town.

We found this crazy plant springing out of the ground next to the old dump.

This is Indian Pipe, Monotropa uniflora, otherwise known as the ghost plant.

Please don't call Monotrop uniflora a fungus, because it is not. Note how Dan fearlessly touches the (then unknown) creepy thing with his bare hands.

It is actually a flowering plant related to the dogwood. Finding the ghost plant means that the soil is super rich. It also means that there are decaying tree roots around, because that is what this plant feeds on. We also found this cool hatched egg. We were searching for a wild turkey family that Dan had found waddling about last week.

No luck on the family, but we did find evidence of their existence.
The best birds of this hot July day were at least eight Grasshopper Sparrows singing and several Meadowlarks protecting their nests.

The worst part of the trip was when I found a deer tick feasting on my scalp the next day.

It is somewhat strange when you remove a parasite from your body at work and all your co-workers want to check it out.

Dan, hope your NC vacation is the tops and may the shorebirds all be identifiable!

Yellow Jacket Update: Here is the bowl.

They dug an escape route out. I moved the bowl over the escape route. They are still active and this contraption looks somewhat like a popcorn maker when they are trying to get out.

Is that sad or what?

1 comment:

Nervous Birds said...

Oh, no! I hate the thought of a deer tick feasting on you. I should do a trip check on my own scalp!

Here in North Carolina, the birding is crazy good already.

Two lifers in two days for me:
Eurasian Collared Dove
and... drumroll please!!!...


The coolest bird name ever.

Oh, yes and the beach is great. We hope you all are well. Get some antibiotics into your system, just in case.