I don't care who you are or how serious you are about ornithology and birding, plovers are cute, man. They skitter around on tiny little legs and turn their heads at odd angles. Nine times out of ten, I'm strictly business with the birds but I'll let you in on a little secret: inside I am screaming about how friggin' adorable they are.
Take the Little Ringed Plover for instance.
As much as Johanna hates to admit it, she has a pretty keen eye for birds. She pointed out this gorgeous Collared Flycatcher male to me as we were walking along the beach of a lagoon in Comino, Malta.
Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) - Wied Il-Għasri, Gozo, Malta
I took this photo on a dirt path below the lighthouse that sits above Wied Il-Għasri. Unknowingly, we were walking through private property and eventually happened upon a tiny shack dug into the hill. It looked rather questionable. Luckily no one was home.
The detour was worth it to spot my first ever leaf-warbler.
Confluence Park was one of my favorite childhood places. Now I like it way more. Because birds. Lots of them. More Western Kingbirds and Yellow-headed Blackbirds than I could count (coming up in future posts). The track around the central pond is a popular walking place but the network of trails is vast.
The park occurs around the river delta for which the town gets its name. One can watch as the Uncompahgre River flows into its big brother, the Gunnison River. The joining of the two waters is a gathering place for all sorts of creatures.
In my experience, Colorado is the number one place for random passers-by to ask me what I'm looking at or why I'm carrying binoculars or why I'm being sketchy standing off the path tangled up in willows and oak brush. I LOVE when people ask me what I'm doing. I can't speak for all birders but I would encourage you to ask someone with binoculars in nature what they're looking for. Within reason. Be careful. Maybe that's bad advice.
If you see me though, please come join me. But lock it up on the noise and wild movement or I'll run off into the woods and leave you.