[Tweeters] Oregon ho

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 13:06:25 PDT 2015

Hey tweets, I've spent the last few days down here in Hillsboro, Oregon (near Portland) helping our daugher get over a bad car crash. The last reason why anyone would want to travel. However, as things have settled down and it's become clear that she's going to be okay, John and I have tried to recover our equilibrium by (what else?) going birding. Hillsboro has an Important Bird Area called Jackson Bottom which is a truly lovely marsh/swamp/scrubland. It's fun seeing migration a little farther south than I'm used to. Today we say loads of Lesser Goldfinches in winter plumage, for which I was grateful. I hardly ever see this bird at all, and now I feel I might have some chance of identifying a rarity back home, if one ever deigns to appear. Vaux's Swifts are coming through in numbers, as are Yellow Warblers. Golden-crowned and Lincoln's Sparrows have already arrived. Wading birds are almost nonexistent because water levels are really low, but I did see one lone Great Blue Heron forlornly trying to fish in a pond remnant not much bigger than a Cadillac. Two American Kestrels have been the only raptors we've seen so far. Giant vees of Cacklers are busy overhead, flying here and there on their way to somewhere, we know not where. I like to see birds with a purpose, even if I can't fathom what it might be. Crows are like that too. They remind me of the time when I was a beginning production manager, and an older and wiser head advised me to always walk fast and carry a pencil. That way, people would assume I was on a mission and wouldn't give me grief for not being as busy as they thought I should be. I haven't had many jobs where carrying a pencil has been necessary, but it's nice to know what to do if one should ever come my way.

We'll be returning home tomorrow, eager to get back to work. In particular, I'll be teaching bunches of classes about bird behavior this fall. The first one coming up is sponsored by UW Botanic Gardens at the Center for Urban Horticulture. It's on migration. Here's a link:

http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/visit/calendar.shtml?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D115097465 <http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/visit/calendar.shtml?trumbaEmbed=view=event&eventid=115097465>

Here's a poem for you today, inspired by a flock of geese hurrying by overhead:

The autumn geese flow south
now in perfect vees
but for the one left behind,
calling, trying to catch up.
I have been that one,
haven't you?

- Connie, Seattle

csidles at constancypress.com <mailto:csidles at constancypress.com>
constancesidles at gmail.com

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