Saturday, November 07, 2009

Bird Watching

This weekend was scout camp. Did I mention that I love to camp? This was camp was a little more interesting than most however. The scout master (I'm the assistant) decided the kids would like to go bird watching. My first thought was, "that's kind of lame". Being the supportive guy that I am however I loaded up my camera with the telephoto lens and my binoculars and off we went. The camp ground we went to was one I'd never heard of before and it is only twenty minutes away.

So I left work early and watched Sarah run her last race of the season. From the race I immediately met up with my scouts and off we went. Dinner was a new one for me. We had hamburgers and baked bread in a dutch oven which wasn't new but the cool thing was the onions. Rick put two big onions in the dutch oven. Absolutely no preparation, just two onions with their skins on and all. When he pulled them out we just peeled off the outer layer and ate them. They were really good. I'm going to have to try that again sometime.

The problem with "bird watching" is that you have to do it early. I got up at six in the morning. I never do that on a camp out. The camp out was on a small lake (more like a big pond) called lake Kumeyaay. The lake is actually a dam that was made by the Kumeyaay Indians in the sixteen hundreds. It was made under the direction of some Priests. At first all we could find were water fowl. That was still pretty cool but I wanted to see some other birds. I could hear them singing all around us but we couldn't see any of them. The trail went out onto a small peninsula that extended into the lake so there was water on both sides of us. At one point we could hear some rustling in the brush but we couldn't see anything. I suspected it was a deer but I could tell the boys were kind of freaked out about what it might be. Suddenly two deer popped out of the brush and one deer went on either side of us. It was pretty cool, even for me but the boys were really thrilled.

Lake Kumeyaay is the home of an endangered bird. There are only a few hundred in the entire world and most of them make their home here. We saw a lot of birds but we didn't get a clear sighting of the Bell's Viero. We did see one bird that looked like it could be one but it was too far off to say for sure.

I pulled out my camera to take some pictures of the birds that we spotted but I soon realized that I didn't have my battery in the camera. I had taken it out to charge it up and in my rush to leave I forgot to put my battery back into the camera. That was a real shame because we ended up seeing a lot of birds. I had to pull all of these pictures off the internet. Everyone of these birds I saw personally with my own six eyes. The two I was born with, my glasses and my binoculars.

As it turned out, I really enjoy bird watching. I have always thought that bird watchers were kind of weird. Who wanted to take the time to go and look at birds through a pair of binoculars? I can now understand why they do it. We had a chart with pictures of all the birds in San Diego county so when when ever we saw a bird we would take note of any distinctive markings we could see and then compare it with our chart. It is very exciting to find a new bird. I think I might have a new hobby here. Who would have thought? I was really surprised at how many different birds we did see. Once I got used to it we were seeing birds all over the place. It was one of my more favorite camp outs.

After the camp out I came home and built a work bench in the garage. I really need to get that garage cleaned up so I can park my car in there. It has been too long.

64% of men who call into a help line for problems with electronic gadgets admit that they haven’t read the instruction manual (24% of women haven't read the manual). 12% of of the men (and 7% of the women) simply needed to plug in or turn on their appliance to solve their problem.


Trevor and Alycia Crowley said...

You know you thought bird watching was lame, here is a cool story to remember that maybe you already knew. The man who wrote the James Bond novels, LOVED bird watching. One day while out on his porch bird watching he was trying to think of what to name his main character in his novel. He looked down at the bird watching book he was using, and saw the authors name was James Bond. He liked it! So he called the author, asked permission, and used James Bond as the name of his leading man! So we can thank Bird Watching for the infamous name!

Brandon J. Leavitt said...

Alycia I'll bet you didn't know that the author of James Bond modeled him after himself, but toned it down because the things he did in real life were too hardcore. For example, when he was an English spy (before the bird watching), he orchestrated an infiltration plan where he and his men would pose as wounded German soldiers. When the soldiers were taken to base for treatment, they executed their rescuers and then stole any information they could memorize or run away with. Read about him, he was HARDCORE.

Lynn said...

WOW!!! Your family is FULL of interesting facts. I never knew any of this stuff.

VERY cool bird pics Fred. So sad you weren't able to take any of them yourself. However, I find it interesting and fun that you NOW have a new hobby. Funny how that goes somedays....we think we don't like something.....until we try it......

Now to just get my kids to see that picture. : D

Fred ... said...

I didn't know any of that about James Bond. Who would have thought?