It was another late afternoon, not alot of time hunt, with the concern about not finding birds on the ground becoming all too familiar. We checked our first spot and didn't see a single starling or sparrow on the ground or in the trees...Hmmm. Next spot. I saw a starling on a light post in the museum parking lot so I took a swing through there and did find a couple starlings mixed in with half a dozen sparrows but they were deep in a humongous, head high hedge that wasn't going to provide anything like a productive slip. We moved on thinking we'd maybe check again on our return trip if nothing else materialized. Our next stop was a small shopping area with a couple starlings around but either in trees or hanging out in the dumpster. Again, not slippable. Time was not my friend and I was getting anxious.
A quick check of a nearby movie theatre was unproductive until I saw what looked like a windblown leaf tumble under a row of cars out of the corner of my eye. Sparrow maybe? I headed in that direction and sure enough, two sparrows hanging out just far enough away from the cars that it might be a do-able slip. Since I wasn't seeing anything else, I sent Hayduke after them.
The sparrows saw him coming and dodged under the car right at the last second but that didn't deter Hayduke and he disappeared under the car after them. He didn't come out the other side but I didn't hear a squeak...did he get it? I jogged over, took a peak under the car and:
Nice! He got it! Now the retrieve...he likes to run around with his sparrows. I stood up to let him calm down a bit before I tried to retrieve him and noticed he was under a nice new Mercedes. It might look odd if I was rooting around under a that car when the owner showed up! I looked under again and he decided to move. He hopped over a couple cars and I bent over to check on him again. At least he wasn't under the Mercedes anymore but man, this car didn't have a whole lot of clearance...Oh, nice, a FERRARI!! Not sure the owner of that car would want me anywhere near that one! Apparently Hayduke was looking for a luxurious place to dine!
Luckily, I don't think Hayduke could even posture up enough to pluck under that car so he took the sparrow over to a less intimidating car a couple spots down and I was able to retrieve him without incident. We headed home and I snapped this shot outside my apartment:
So another one in the bag. He's a awfully reliable bird these days. I love the little booger even if he does make me chase him around under expensive cars!
James Lee Mansell, RIP
2 days ago