Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nice Friggin' Bird!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I took this photograph of a magnificent frigatebird in Panama in October, but it reminded me of a conversation I had with a fisherman years earlier, while looking at another frigatebird.

This was on the Sanibel Island causeway in Florida. It was frozen icy winter in Ohio, where I'd just come from. I was less than an hour off the airplane, driving my size-of-a-rollerskate rental car out to Ding Darling NWR, when I decided to stop along the sandy road shoulder to glass a few Florida birds.

Brown peilican: nice! Dozens of winter-plumaged willets: sweet! Hey! Sanderlings! Right on!

A few steps closer to the water was the ubiquitous broken picket line of retirees fishing. I smiled and nodded at a rotund man smoking a stogie while he removed some plant material from his fishing lure. He moved with the slowness of someone who has all the time in the world. I was envious.

Just then the shadow of a bird passed over our heads. I looked up into the blinding sunlight just long enough to catch a glimpse of a magnificent frigatebird scything low over the palm trees and out across the inlet.

"Nice frigatebird!" I said to no one in particular.
"Yeah, that IS a nice friggin' bird!" came the reply from the porcine pescador.
We shared a smile and a thumbs up. I headed back to my ride, laughing quietly.

Birders. There's a new one born every minute.


On December 6, 2008 at 1:44 PM NCmountainwoman said...

I agree...that's a nice frigging bird. Ding Darling is one of my favorite places.

On December 6, 2008 at 4:42 PM Dawn Fine said...

LOL..good story..thanks..

On December 6, 2008 at 7:05 PM Mel said...

Great story!

On December 6, 2008 at 9:55 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Thanks NC, DAwN, Mel.

Frigs are cool. But none here now, where the snow is piling up.

Hope y'all are warm.

On December 6, 2008 at 10:15 PM Mary said...

Oh, I get the dialogue. Laughing out loud :o)

That is a nice friggin bird shot, Bill.

Snow there?

Mary - jealous in NC

On December 6, 2008 at 10:17 PM entoto said...

Nice friggin' story.

On December 7, 2008 at 4:09 AM Anonymous said...

Sanibel Island is a great friggin place to live. :-) I love Ding Darling!

On December 8, 2008 at 9:05 AM Christopher said...

I had my life friggin' bird at Ding Darling (along with hosts of other lifers) and without a doubt it is one of my favorite places in the US!
Going over the Sanibel Causeway always is a treat with the pelicans letting you know that you are going someplace very special!

On December 8, 2008 at 10:02 AM Rondeau Ric said...

That’s cool Bill. It would have been even better if you were chating with a sandwich tern while having a glass of chilled Garganey.
But then some old coot would probably come along signing” boom chachalca, don’t you just love it ?” and you would be thinking “ what a bufflehead”.

Sorry to Smer your blog, I will probably egret it latter.

On December 14, 2008 at 1:04 AM Anonymous said...

Hmm FRIGATEBIRD also called MAN OF WAR BIRD they have a unsial way of robbing other seabirds of their catch one will come up behind behind the victim and yank on his tail cuasing him to drop his ctach the other frigate bird with catch the prey in midair before it hits the water