Monday, September 28, 2009

I get by with a little help from... total strangers

I suppose everyone has a good story to tell about how a total stranger helped them in a time of need.

When we were living in Oregon, an angel in a tow truck just happened to drive by where I was stuck out on a country road in the middle of the rye grass fields and the sheep pastures 15 miles from town with a 3-year-old. My big old Ford station wagon had a flat tire and the spare was flat too. He totally rescued me. Took me, the tire, and the kid to town. He fixed the tire, drove back with me, the tire, and the kid. I mention this because one day I did drive off after church and left our child at the church nursery and I was almost halfway home before I realized it. And he put the tire on.

So, a few days ago, one of those ubiquitous LGBs (little gray birds), the type that drive bird watchers absolutely nuts because they will not sit still long enough to get a good look at them to figure out what the heck they are, crashed into the glass panel of the storm door that opens onto the deck.

And Richard happened to be at the back door and he noticed it and told me, and I grabbed the camera, and the bird book.

When I say "LGB," what I actually mean are the warblers, and it really is not a very accurate label to hang on them because some of them are very brightly colored indeed. Even expert bird watchers can get extremely frustrated trying to sort the warblers out, though, especially in the fall. Peterson's Field Guide to the Birds East of the Rockies has two whole pages devoted to Confusing Fall Warblers.

So there it sat...

Looking around....

And I grabbed the bird book.... and what the heck is it? No clue at all. And then after a minute or so, it flew off to live another day. Fortunately.

It looks sort of like several different possibilities and I was getting a bit frustrated, but not to the point where I was going to hurl the Field Guide against the wall or anything.

So I found this really nice Web site maintained by this very nice person named Giff - which I am guessing is a man -- and he helped me sort this out and it is a taa daaa (drum roll)

Philadelphia Vireo!

Not a warbler at all.

1 comment:

Oklahoma Granny said...

I'm so glad the little guy was ok and was able to fly off to his family.