[Bristol-Birds] HOT BIRDING TIP!!!

  • From: Dnldhlt@xxxxxxx
  • To: bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx,butternuts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2003 22:55:35 EDT

Stan Bentley asked me to share this experience he had, which I do here with 
pleasure. - Don Holt, Johnson City, TN

My trip out west this summer, in addition to my wife Mary Ann, included my
older grandchild. Tanna is eleven and has very little travel experience. But
after nine straight nights of camping - no television, and one very cold
night with snow in Yellowstone - she was still in fine fettle when we
visited the National Bison Refuge in southwestern Montana. I have visited
this wonderful eighteen mile one-way drive five times now and it never fails
to produce spectacular vistas along the Flathead River valley and
interesting wildlife - both plant and animal. We took the short trail across
a high ridge to a rock outcrop where bitterroot was in bloom. This gorgeous
and rare wildflower, Lewisia, is one of the plants named for Captain
Meriwether Lewis. Native Americans ancountered by Lewis and Clark were
making handy use of the plant's starchy roots as a food staple. Bitterroot
does not open unless the sun is out and this was a spectacular day. With the
glistening snow peaks of Montana's Mission Mountains to the east and the
Flathead River to the west, this is a scene never to be forgotten.

In a small group of brushy trees, I spotted a bird which quickly dived deep
beneath the foliage before I could determine the species. It was close to
the road so I pulled over and began to "pish" to get the bird to show
itself. It wouldn't budge. I tried pishing, squeaking my lips on the back of
my hand, nothing worked. So I started to drive off. From the back seat,
Tanna says, "Try clapping your hands, Papaw!"

I smiled and responded, "Why not?" All the while thinking I knew so much
more than she. After all, I am a long time experienced birder. Not one time
had I ever had anyone suggest such a thing. I clapped my hands - only twice,
mind you. Up from the brush bounded a beautiful blue, male Lazuli bunting, a
species I had only seen a couple of times in my whole life. Mary Ann and I
were astounded but also particularly pleased. OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES!!!
Stan Bentley

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