Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Notes from my Nest-Moving

1. dove nesting 4-13-13-kabmourning dove nest building 4-13-13 

I have just ended a five day birding spree with friends from all over. My 2014 Year List has grown from 86 species on January 19th to 131 species by January 27! I awoke this morning knowing that the end is near. In four more days I will be gone. Though I have delayed this reality as long as possible, it is time to take the feeders down and wash them so they can be packed all together. I want to be able to find them and hang them as soon as I arrive in Maine.

2. Tucson yard 4-13-13-kab The yard has been fairly quiet lately with the same 8 species returning on a daily basis: Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Anna’s Hummingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Yellow-rumped Warbler, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, and House Sparrow. Sporadically I see Cooper’s Hawk, Costa’s Hummingbirds, Common Raven, Say’s Phoebe, and Verdin. Once in awhile I hear a distant Cactus Wren or a Curve-billed Thrasher. Sometimes I see a Red-tailed Hawk circling overhead, but that is all for now, and I will be gone before it gets exciting once again.3. Xavier-kab

I am trying not to think about what this move means to my life, for I know it will change. The birds and the habitat change are obvious, but the change in relationships is what I am finding hard. I will not have my little grandson running downstairs every morning calling out “meme!” in a joyful voice, arms open wide. I will miss him asking me, “meme, can I help you?” when he sees me baking in the kitchen or filling bird feeders in the backyard. It will be a long time before he snuggles with me in a rocking chair at night while we watch nature shows together. And before long, he will be too old to snuggle.

4. 12-23-13 Celeste and Shooter

I will not be here to greet my dear friend, Celeste each time she returns. I will miss Earl Grey tea and bird watching on the patio with her.

5. my son-kab I will miss the daily interaction with my son, his sense of humor and his insights about life and people, and the most obvious person I will miss I can barely talk about. What will I do without Chris?

6. Chris r Empire GulchChris Rohrer in Empire Gulch 9-16-12 

When I first met him 18 months ago I knew he would be a friend, but I could not have predicted this kind of friendship. I try to relate it to another relationship in my own life and all I can compare it to is my birding mentor, Trudy.7. Trudy 2008-kab She not only taught me about the birds, but she taught me about Life and she loved me unconditionally. Wherever I moved in the United States she stayed in contact with me; first through letters, and then through email. When she was in her late 90’s and I started my Sycamore Canyon Blog she was thrilled. She followed my birding escapades with longing and she would write me long and enthusiastic emails encouraging me to get out and see the world as much as I could and while I still could. To her dying day she loved birds and nature and longed to be outside immersed in it all. I tease Chris that one day I will be the old lady birder and he will have to call me and tell me all his birding stories and adventures and as I grow older he will have to come and get me and take me on birding walks and I will always love him.

8. Ft. Donaldson birding Kathryn Kelly and I birding Ft. Frederick in Maryland 8-22-12

I know this trip across the country with Gus will be different. We will not be stopping to watch birds like I did with Kathryn 18 months ago. This time it will be all about the weather and trying to beat the storms or drive around them! But once I get to Maine, watch out birds, because Kathie’s Birds is coming and I am going to count you all! I do look forward to living near the ocean. It will be a new life experience for me and I am ready to embrace it and all there is to see.


10. wings-kab

Shorebirds in Maine 8-7-2012


  1. I have no doubt that you will find birdy friends in Maine! Enjoy and embrace the new adventure. Your old friends are still here for you!

    1. Kathryn, I know! and I can't wait to have you come and visit me!

  2. Lovely post, Kathie! I hope you enjoy your new home as much as the old. Maybe your friends can visit you in Maine too. Have a safe trip!

  3. You will be dearly missed. More than words can say. I have dreaded the coming of this week. Without you around, I fear I will become a twitcher and forget to slow down and take it all in.....like it should be. Who else would enjoy counting all the crazy blackbirds found around Lakeside Park? Before it was just a nasty park, now when I go, I'll see it as the place we birded until sunset.....saw an Osprey and dropped the F bomb.....went crazy over our first discovery of Brown-headed and Bronzed Cowbirds together!!!! or watching the Bonaparte's Gulls dance across the water with the Forster's Tern following from behind......watching Vermilion Flycatcher dazzle in the sun......yeah.....it's not going to be the same. Lakeside is but one place we explored besides Christmas, the Mines of Moria, Whitewater, Gilbert Water Ranch, ghetto random places that neither of us would visit alone, Madera Canyon, Florida Canyon, Miller Canyon, Ramsey Canyon, Ash Canyon, owling and nightjaring it on Proctor Road......you will always be my friend and part of my family. It's just hard to let go and say good-bye. That cell phone I hated having with me is now a comfort....we still will text and we still will talk. The difference is that you will be freezing your butt off and I won't:) And yet none of that seems to matter when there are birds all around us everywhere we go. When I see something rare, I will think of you. When you see something rare, it will be the same because that's how we became friends. You were my mentor and showed me the ropes. If it wasn't for your kindness and love, it may have taken me years to get to where I am now in my life. And for that you will always have my gratitude.

    Well so much for not getting choked up......but I am going to miss you.

  4. Life is so much of letting go and other doors opening. Wouldn't it be terrible if, when you left, you wouldn't have anyone to miss? I know you will travel with a full heart and take them all with you. Thank God for the internet, only the warmth of Xavier's snuggles you will still be longing for.
    I will think of you and keep wishing you God speed on your trek north and God willing, the winter storms will be swept from your path.

  5. Nice post. Maybe we'll get together sometimes and go birding this summer (with me in the car of course until I get back on my feet).

  6. I love the wild woods of Maine. I've been on many fishing vacations there but don't know what it would be like to live there all the time.Living near the ocean
    is probably a safer bet and you'll see a greater variety of birds there.

    I was eating breakfast at a Portland diner one day and we got to talking about birds because I had my field guide with me.he said he ran into a lady in Colchester who was a birder and I figured out by his description that it had to have been you! Good luck on your newest life journey!

  7. Special friends stay special forever no matter where we find ourselves. Be well and travel with a least a few birding stops along the way.


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.