Saturday, January 7, 2012

Epic Fail

Just as I finished the reading for our first day of Zoology, and we reviewed binomial nomenclature and animal classification, created our title page in our nature journal and wrote the clever reminder: Kings Play Chess On Fine Glass Sets (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, etc), I popped over to the Audubon site page to see if there were any upcoming events in our area.
"Connecticut Audubon Society will lead a public bird walk on January 5 from 9-11 a.m. We will take a look at what wintering ducks are present and see how many species we can find at the mouth of the Housatonic River. This is a great opportunity to bird one of the prime locations in Connecticut and get a head start on your list for the New Year.  
The walk will be free and we suggest bringing binoculars and a spotting scope, if you have one. Make sure to dress for the season! It is usually safe to assume that this exposed coastal spot is windier and colder than much of the state.  We will definitely be looking for another Snowy Owl and other beautiful rarities!" 
Sweet, yes?  

We dressed for the weather.  I was toasty in my new silk thermals from LL Bean but my children made fun of me.  Even though I thought they were appropriately layered with hats, scars and gloves, they were cold.

“ feet are cold.  Actually, I can’t feel my toes.”
“ hands are numb.”
“ legs are cold.”
“ nose hurts.”
“ is so cold I feel sick.”
That was the first five minutes.   Even though my body was toasty roasty, my fingers were indeed turning numb and my cheeks felt like frostbite was setting in.  We decided it would be better once we were moving.  
Have you ever been on a bird walk with avid bird watchers? 

There is  not much moving.  There is the picking of a spot, the setting up of binoculars and not much else.  I was disappointed.  The guide did call out the species of birds he saw.  Loon, black duck, other birds I can’t remember.  No teaching though.  No interesting facts and tidbits about the birds native to our area.  Nothing on their habitat, diet, nesting, mating.  Nada.  Even more disappointing was that a gray seal was spotted but we missed it.

What did we learn from this outing?
Well....that we have no desire to pick up bird watching as a hobby.
That grey seals can be spotted at this site and we will return to gaze out upon the Long Island Sound on a warmer day.
That it is time for Grace to organize another beach clean up.
That Lilah has the same weird reaction to wool as her father.
That they will never ever make fun of their mother's silk thermals again.  

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