Sunday, April 11, 2010

Un-American - Savannah sparrow, Palm Warbler, Eastern Phoebe

In the pouring rain, on the plain, in Maine today, I stumbled upon these little birds. Actually, it was raining in Phippsburg which doesn't have any plains that I know of technically. I was on a 'recon.' mission just looking for bird action to photograph once the sun comes out. Specifically, I was looking for Killdeer and Snow geese on the local golf course. I didn't plan to take photos as it was raining really hard. I know, I know: I did have my camera. You just never know, even if the conditions are lousy. So, I did have it with me. Luckily, I had a big wad of Dunkin Donuts napkins in the car to sop up the water off the camera and the inside of the car door. I like those napkins because they are recycled material, thus earth friendly and very absorbent. I did not find the geese nor plovers I was looking for. I got a little bored or irritated for lack of birds and so was shooting these maple tree flowers. With the drops of rain dripping from them I thought they were stunning. If I had pollen allergies, I guess I wouldn't think they were so pretty. Suddenly, this Palm warbler almost flew into my face! What a little darling it was. I did some internet research to find out why they are called 'Palm' warblers, but no luck. I'm not sure if it's because they hang out in palm trees, which we don't have here, or if it's because they read palms. Maybe that's it. Maybe they are fortune tellers of some kind. I do know that they are 'Old World' warblers or 'Wood' warblers. To qualify as 'Old World,' each of them must show proof that they have documented descendants that came over on the Mayflower, which I do. My ancestor's name was Oceanus White. He was a baby born on the Mayflower. My mother never had the dough to support that claim, but her mother's sister did. My great-aunt, Carrie Staples Metcalfe died last fall at 103 years old. She was a documented Mayflower Society descendent. That is, she had to have been able to prove that she was directly descended from someone who 'came over' on the good ship Mayflower. She was also a member of the Daughters Of The American Revolution, or D.A.R. She was directly related to somebody who was a soldier in the American Revolution. My husband's initials are D.A.R., also. So if her lineage wasn't sufficient, I'm claiming it by proxy to my husband, even though David is only third generation American. His relatives came from England and Scotland. By my calculations, I'm at least fifteenth generation American. I'm basing this on figuring about twenty years per generation and that the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. However, many years ago, David had a vanity license plate that said that, "D.A.R." He got rid of it because people gave him grief about having been in the revolution.  I don't think that was very nice. He's only ten years older than I am and compared to me, he's not even an American.

This is a Savannah Sparrow. We don't have savannahs in Phippsburg, either. But we've got the birds!
Eastern Pheobe. "Pheobe" is Greek for bird. They are barely 5" long, another little sweetie.

Maple tree flowers
Tree swallow

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  1. Excellent photos Robin! The Palm Warbler is awesome!

  2. I just love all your pictures!not to mention that I learn something every time i read your Blogs i hate that word,how about

  3. Loved this one, the photos, commentary about them, dunkin donuts reference, yours and david's background. Very amusing.

  4. I've just discovered your blog, and love it. We were at Morse Mountain yesterday and passed through Phippsburg - and saw an Egret, Eiders, Veery and a few other birds. Just wanted to say thanks for the entertaining commentary. "Charlie" Charlotte Hewson