As most of you know, in my birding adventures I don't make a habit of chasing rarities unless they're at a place I normally go birding anyway. This past Saturday morning a Black Phoebe was reported at Magnuson Park, but alas, that was the Tacoma sketch outing day. By the time I got home, I was too tired to go out there, even though it's only a ten-minute drive away.
I remember staring at the clock around 4pm, thinking, "I should go...." and again at 4:30, and then I just decided it didn't matter all that much. Of course, on Sunday morning, I awoke to read a report that the bird had been seen around 4:30 that Saturday. Ah, well. At first I felt a bit miffed at myself for missing out, but when I tootled down there on that Sunday morning and started walking around the ponds, I realized that I didn't know which pond it had been frequenting. There are quite a few, and the post said "Promontory Ponds by the interpretative sign". I didn't know where that was, and had I gone Saturday, I would have gone to the ponds I regularly bird and would have missed it anyway, which would have been more frustrating than not going at all -- knowing that I'd been there at the right time but in the wrong spot.
In any case, on Sunday I wandered about the wrong ponds until spying a fellow birder, who showed me the right pond. The phoebe did not appear, but I got a compensatory Osprey:
Who regally looked down its bill at me:
And there were delightful Pied-billed Grebe chicks out and about:
A very pleasant outing after all! Of course, I could have returned that Sunday at 4 or so, but was too tired out again from the Georgetown sketch outing. And of course, the phoebe was seen around 5pm.
I tried one more time on Monday after work, waiting at the right spot from 4:30-5:15, and the bird did not appear. It has probably flow onward. I did have a nice chat there with a young birder just starting out who was quite enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. We enjoyed watching the swallows swooping over the pond, and had more good views of the grebes. Rarities are nice when you can get them, but the "regulars" are always fine birds to see.
And now that you've waded through all that, here is what you really want to look at -- Truman!
Every morning Truman likes to do a Perimeter Check of the yards around us on our block, to make sure he's gotten all of the messages left by visiting dogs. He gets quite excited as we get ready:
First he checks out our front parking strip and the one in front of Mike's house next door before heading across the street.
The parking strip in front of Dick and Charlsia's home must be thoroughly sniffed, as does the one in front of Jerry and Martha's place, as it is extremely popular with the dogs from the nearby dog daycare who get walks every day down our street.
Next we cross back over to our side of the street to check out Scott and Jennifer's home, which is highly suspicious due to the presence of Hitch, a very vocal beagle mix.
Equally suspect is the house next to that one, which belongs to Chesley the Old Buzzard and his ancient gray cat, Sam.
Neither Hitch nor Sam were out this morning, so all was well and Truman decided it was time to return home.
All is well in the neighborhood now that Truman has conducted his daily check!