Thursday, September 7, 2023

A Flamboyance of Flamingoes


IT has been a long and busy summer filled with selling houses, buying houses, buying land, and digging holes.  

The start of building my shed on property I don't own quite yet

Typically, doing anything except birding.  Along the way, I came across a body in my field which turned out to be alive, I have had two book events in Hudson WI, and Taylors Falls MN, and I even went back in time into the untouched office of a country music legend Dave Dudley in his former home.

Dave Dudley's office b1925-d2003, Burnett County WI

I had to award the Stan Peer Trophy I won in 2022, to both Drs Jeff Rapp and Jerry McCullough after they had caught the largest walleyes up in Canada

So then came Hurricane Idalia, and at first it looked as though we might have damage to a third house by a hurricane, which coincidentally happened 6 years ago today when Irma stormed through St Martin and our future dreams took a beating, but life moves on and dreams change, and you can make them happen.

Luckily, Idalia turned late and made a mess of Perry, destroying a favorite truck stop but leaving our place in Lutz alone.  Idalia, however moved something else.

The American Flamingo was largely extirpated in Florida a hundred years ago and then 70 years ago a bunch escaped Hialeah Park and bred and flew around Florida and occasionally a few from the Bahamas, Cuba, or even the Yucatan showed up.  I chased some of these birds and until my big year in 2016, I always missed them. This species became my nemesis.  This changed in 2016 when I nabbed one in Fort Myers.  I then observed a whole flock of them in Curacao in 2019, and saw their cousins, Chilean Flamingoes in Uruguay, Lesser Flamingoes in South Africa, Greater Flamingoes in Corsica finishing a quadfecta of Flamingoes, just missing two of the various species.

I have not, however, seen one since.  

After Idalia, deciding we wanted to see our new house in Florida before the next hurricane got it, off we went to Florida

Somewhere between Yucatan and Cuba, Idalia pushed or picked some groups of Flamingoes and deposited them all over the Gulf coast of Florida, the Carolinas, Alabama, and even points north.  With all of these birds around, it seemed terrible and a missed opportunity if I had not come and seen a couple of them so noticing some were being seen at a favorite beach on the bike trail along the Courtney Cambell Expressway on Tampa Bay.  We arrived this morning and were not disappointed.  There were three there in the mangroves at high tide.  They were out at a bit of distance seen with my scope.

I decided to not to wade any closer even though a couple of birders had.  Always fun birds, flamingoes, it was a nice addition to our Florida trip, 

Now I need to focus on buying furniture.....btw, what is all of this fascination with gray painted furniture?  In terms of furniture, I appear to be a dinosaur.  That is yet another story for another time.  

A group of flamingoes?  A flamboyance!  And yes they were FLAMBOYANT!



Golden dreams and memories

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