Our day did not start out yesterday as a birding event. We went to check out an RV which turned out to be a dud. Because it involved a couple of hours of driving, the darkest part of the day reared it's ugly head in the form of Buster's travel anxiety. We are not sure if his anxiety starts out as excitement and anticipation of an adventure or if it is the discomfort of constant motion in the car. Regardless, what starts out as a small amount of whining, builds with each mile and minute to a full state of panic which is only cured by stopping for a break. The result is that we can only drive about 15 miles at a time, so an hour's drive ends up to be two hours of frustrating endurance.
This is the situation we found out selves in yesterday when we stopped in desperation at the Jackson-Frazier Wetland on the north-end of Corvallis. And here is where the miraculous cure of birding takes place. We get out of the car, breath in some fresh air, feel the warmth of the sunshine, start to look for birds and Buster begins his search for what ever it is he smells. Right away we realize because we were focused on a quick trip to look at an RV, we had not brought our binoculars or my camera. The question is, "can we find and identify birds with out binoculars"? In the photo above, taken with my iPhone, Jeanette points out a shiny bright male Rufus Hummingbird. Easily seen and reconized without binoculars, so we are off to see what else we can find. In the end we were able to identify 20 different species of birds by either sight or sound. Our level of stress and tension evaporated as the sights and experiences of the wetland took over our consciousness. Our pledge to ourselves in enduring the next however many weeks or months, is to make sure to fill our days with birding time.