Day 174 - Cair Paravel

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

“This is the land of Narnia,' said the Faun, 'where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel..."

― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

Tis' the true start of the great summer in Narnia, spring migration long behind us, and fall migration just ahead.  The longest day of the year came and went, leaving less and less light every day from here on out.  In just a matter of days the year will be 1/2 over.  I far passed the 1/2 way mark on number of birds months ago.  Now is the time where I wait for the great southbound migration to pick things back up.  As I gaze upon Narnia from the castle Cair Paravel today, I am reminded of how lucky I am  to live where I do.  There is simply no state like Narnia, and I marvel at what it has to offer, despite its flaws.

Today marked the first day with a new year bird in more than 3 weeks--what a long wait.  Thankfully it wasn't just 1 year bird either.  I put together a string of much needed specialty birds to cap off the majority of the holes in my breeding and resident species needs. Let me regale you with todays story...

The journey to the castle takes a bit of a trek, winding across the land.  By mid morning I was standing on an escarpment basking in the warm suns glow as I marveled over the marvelous sight beholden to me.  Narnia.  The birding most of the morning was the usual suspects.  I finally managed to take a few pictures of birds I needed for my year list.  I finally ended the drought when an Explorer's Reservist took a perch high on a tree.  This had become somewhat of a year nemesis--how had it taken almost 6 whole months to see this rather common flier?  A strange thing to miss this bird at every turn till now--but it was finally a tick mark, ending 3 weeks of silence on the new bird front.

The castle was strange this morning though.  Many of the expected finds were hard to come by, and several birds I had hoped to add were no where to be found.  The day was highlighted when an Irruptive Elitist made itself known.  I had gotten to the point where I expected this high society type to stay out of the public eye in 2016.  A good get and a bit of de ja vu to an earlier visit to Cair Paravel.

As the day continued it looked less and less like this would be my only visit to the castle in 2016--I would have to come back.  I managed to eek out a 3rd year bird when a Pine Riveter popped into view briefly.  It was gone in a flash and only see for a few seconds a little later.  Curious creatures these birds be...

After a long day I look back and see the long road ahead.  Its all like a memory of a place I've been before.  So many similarities to the past.  The parallels between my previous big year and 2016 line up in so many ways.  Yet the subtle difference in this year being a secret changes things dramatically. I've been here before, but it all feels so different.

My week isn't yet over though--and hopefully I can keep things moving and fill in a couple more holes before June is a memory; part of the past as well.

New birds today: 3
Year List: 304


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I'm on a mission to see as many birds as I can in 2016... within the borders of my home state. The only catch is I'm not telling anyone that I'm doing a Big Year...