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.
You always hear them before you see them so let's start with this:
My great-grandparents lived in a tiny log home a few minutes outside of the town I grew up in. The house was charismatic in many ways but the front porch was memorable for me because of all the feral barn cats sneaking around, looking for food scraps. Sitting in the threshold of the door to the kitchen was a rickety, creaky red screen door. I can tell you exactly how it sounded to open because the song of the Yellow-headed Blackbird is nearly identical.
Here's to one of my Colorado favorites, the raspy, unoiled Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus).
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.