Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Very Few Birds But Poetry!

"I have never seen an inhabited spot which seemed so utterly desolate, so entirely separated from the world, whose people have such a slender hold on mankind."  --Charles Nordhoff, after a visit to the Farallones in 1874

Well, I'm not sure how slender of a hold we have on mankind, but today we had a slender hold on migrating birds--as there simply weren't enough to grab.  One confirmed arrival and about 5 other individual songbirds on the island, combined with some potent humidity and warmth, made for a very slow day.  The winds, however, have switched.  Light out of the Northwest and clear skies--my gut suggests that many birds will move tonight.  Will they stop on our utterly desolate outpost?  Tomorrow holds the answers.

As I took figuratively zero portraits today, I will dip into the archives yet again.
Northern Waterthrush--we have had at least three of these characters visiting the island this season
A Farallones poem written by Milton S. Ray:


Drugged by the dreary solitude
Where towering cliffs ever sullen brood
Beside a barren, desolate sea,
Whose rough surf roars monotonously,
And where only the rock wren sings with glee,
Dull, lonely lives the light crew led,
As their aimless years forgotten fled.
With measured flash of their lofty light
They swept the inhospitable seas of night,
'Till the rose-glow of dawn would transient spill
Along the dim crest of some mainland hill.
And fair the dawn.  Forever here
Autumn, summer and spring were one,
With never a day of sultry sun,
And only winter would shatter the tranquil year.

Here is a photo of an American Kestrel, a fine looking falcon

And the painful eBird checklist

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