I was lying on the couch the other night, perusing my new Peterson's Western field guide, when I realized that--while I am going to get the chance to see a bunch of new birds once we move to California--there will also be a bunch of birds I will NOT get to see out west. NO FAIR!
Those of you who know anything about me can probably predict my response to this little realization:
2. Make a list.
3. Repeat 1 and 2 as necessary.
So--I present my first list, Eastern birds I haven't seen so I better hurry up and see them either here or in Texas when I visit in February:
any kind of Longspur
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Little Blue Heron
I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones I noticed as I flipped through the range maps in the back of my Peterson's. I sure do have my work cut out for me this spring!
After repeating Step 1 a few more times, I made another list--Birds I have seen and/or take for granted over here but which I probably won't see in California:
American Tree Sparrow
Field Sparrow (but I love that call!)
Bluejay (no freaking bluejays!?)
Northern Cardinal (seriously--what is wrong with the West Coast?)
Ovenbird (I may pass out if I don't hear the "teacher teacher" call of an ovenbird in the spring)
Blackburnian Warbler (my favorite! But only rarely do these guys stray into Cali--but Varied Thrushes have that same fiery orange, so...)
Palm Warbler (the tail bobber!)
Black and White Warbler (I love them!)
Red-eyed Vireo (get outta town--literally. I'll have to go farther north than Rohnert Park to hear these guys)
Cedar Waxwing (again, a rarity)
WOOD THRUSH (reconsidering move altogether now, because you know this is my favorite birdsong)
Gray Catbird (wow)
Eastern Bluebird (but the Mountain Bluebird might make up for it)
Carolina Wren (I'm sad)
Black-capped Chickadee (I'm more sad)
Eastern Wood Pewee (I love their call!)
Slate-colored Junco (on my list of Cutest Birds, I'll really miss these)
Boy. You'd think I was moving 2,699.47 miles or something. Sometime after the New River festival in April, I'll really get into my Western guide and start highlighting some birds I'll make a point to seek out in California. Until then, I'll just try to soak up as much Wood Thrush and Catbird as I can.
P.S.--I have realized that my friends are already getting sick of my "When I move to California, I'm gonna..." pronouncements, so I started a new little bloggy so I'd have a place to pour all my most listy, anal-retentive, living in the future kinds of thoughts about the wonders of the Golden State. If you live or have lived in the San Francisco area, please visit and leave comments on more cool Cali stuff so I'll be sure to drive myself insane with impatience for the move!