[Tweeters] Old Friend, New Name

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Wed Feb 4 13:07:07 PST 2015








Just back at the ranch after a quick sanity check out at Fort Worden, here in Port Townsend. I needed a little break, so walked the pier at the Marine Science Center. I'm glad I did.
Oh sure, you have birds on your list that you've seen, technically. Like I've seen a bunch of Dovekie's. That was way back in 1974 on a pelagic trip off of Portsmouth New Hampshire on a nasty dark November Day. It was sort of a rough ride out to the Star Islands - low slung slabs of granite out in the ocean there - which looked like something out of a Winslow Homer painting, or maybe a scene by one of those Wyeth's. There were several Snowy Owls perched on the rocks, here and there. That was cool.
Anyhoo, there were Dovekies out there in the dark gray wave's along the way: Dovekie's being sort of a midget alcid. Clearly, but barely, identifiable through salt-sprayed binoculars, with eyes tearing up in the cold wind. So I got 'em on my list. Have I really Seen a Dovekie? Sort of. What counts for a lister, doesn't always mean that much to a normal person, such as myself.
Yes, it's true, I consider myself normal, and normally what I really like is a good clear view of something. And that's what I got today out on the pier. Right near the end of the pier a beautiful Long-tailed Duck was busy preening himself on the water, allowing me long leisurely looks at him, from close range. My first look at a Long-tailed Duck!
You see, being sort of a half-assed birder, I haven't seen one of these fine ducks since it was known as the Oldsquaw. For reasons of politeness , possibly, and for international conformity, the name was changed to Long-tailed Duck back in the year 2000. The bird is an old friend from my past life as a Bellinghamster, when I would see it quite regularly out on Bellingham Bay, and many times reveled in hearing it's loud unique call.
Old friend. New name. Great looks!
Jeff GibsoninPort Townsend Wa






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