Greetings my blogger friends! Pretty much a hodge podge of a post today. It has been very busy here at Intrigued and wanted to do a bit of housekeeping to get everything “cleaned up” before we start transitioning into colder temps – well, should probably clarify that as “consistently” colder temps as we had our first flurries of the season a few days ago and we’ve been dipping into nightly frost zones. Been some cold runs lately as well. Good news is it will be back in the 70s for the weekend and then after that, who knows.
While recovering from the ultra beat down, I’ve been able to tick off a few items on the to-do list. First, I finally got my Birding Life List updated – per the updated nav-bar on the left, sitting at 317 (plenty more already in the tin, but they have to be featured here to get the tick). Then went and updated the Birding Chronicles page (link here) with the latest on the “Average Year” efforts. Ron has closed the gap and sits at 280 to my 284 (he might even have two more from a recent outing).
With that out of the way, I moved onto the newest signature prop for the Haunted Trail of Tears. This year, there was a new fancy entryway to set the stage.
It took a good 10 months to bring that arch to reality and admittedly pretty proud of it. I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to produce video tutorials on my new YouTube channel (link here), unfortunately, wasn’t versed enough to bring it to bear on this build. If you are interested on how this arch came to be, I’ve put a 4 part series up on the mothership which goes through every detail.
Next up was starting to chip away at the Haunted Trail Recap. Probably going to be a while before I can get to the detailed walk throughs, but I did manage to get the Gallery published with shots taken during the prep, build, day walker and night scare. Those captures can be found on our Smugmug site (link here). Note, there are several pages with over 300 images. My partner in haunt, Paul, made another great video to give you a feel for what the trail is like – Beware, someone opened the Gates of Hell!
Bri’s been one busy guy! A big thanks to Brad for filling in with some great posts while I was recovering and getting caught up on the to-do list.
Didn’t want to leave you hanging without a wildlife post, so hit the jump to read about today’s featured feathered friend.
For starters, we have promoted Brad from “Guest Feature” to “Full Contributor” status. He has actually already provided us with several posts to use, one of which I almost went with for today’s content. He is currently on his first assignment to track down a bird I’ve failed to tin after 3 attempts. Rather than have him deal with responding to comments at the same time, figured I’d just go with one I had in the queue. What goes with the Hell theme from above.. well Bell’s, of course.
Say hello to the latest +1 on my life list – yes, this immediately invalidates my bird counter hehehe. This rather dapper looking songbird is a member of the Vireo family. According to Cornell, it was named by John Audubon in 1843 in honor of his companion on the expedition named John Graham Bell.
The Bell’s Vireo has been a bit of a nemesis for me – not to mention a bit of brotherly rivalry. Ron managed to tin this Midwest breeding bird several years back and has been his go to reference when he wants to get some digs in on me. I’d tell him about my latest find in Texas and he’d respond “Yeah, but who has two thumbs and a Bell’s Vireo in the tin – THIS GUY”. Every year I’d come up empty trying to squelch this advantage – for a very chatty/squeaky bird, this turned out to be a hard task…
Until a few months ago when Linda saw a report indicating one was hanging out at Banner Marsh. Earlier in the day we went after a Blue Grosbeak that I’ve been trying to get ticked off for most of the summer. Having failed on that attempt, Linda did a quick check on ebird reports where she saw a Bell’s was seen less than an hour earlier at Banner Marsh – let’s go!
Drove to the specified location and within 10 minutes I heard the distinctive (per Cornell) – cheedle, cheedle, cheedle, chee? cheedle, cheedle chew! To me it simply sounds like two rubber duckies being rubbed together. Hearing it and getting it in the tin turned out to be two entirely different efforts. This specimen refused to come out of the canopy – spout off some rubber ducky songs, shuffle around in the leaves, more rubber ducky songs then bolt to another dense tree. I could hear Ron virtually laughing over my shoulder – was NOT going to leave there without tinning this sucker. Was about to turn back and call to Linda for some sighting help when it flew out and landed on in a bare tree less than 30 feet from me. Stunned me for a second before snapping to and …well, getting a few snaps before it tore back into the dense vegetation. Thankfully got a few decent shots in the brief encounter.
Unfortunately, not a lot I can pass on about this Vireo. They winter in South America and push northward into Illinois and South Dakota for the breeding season. Cornell also added the tidbit they have not been observed drinking water preferring instead to rely on shots of whiskey and rye to wet their whistle.
What I found more interesting is the mystery uncovered regarding the song Hells Bells (per my not so clever title), Does Hell have an apostrophe or not?!? I’ve always seen the title without an apostrophe and confirmed it with several DuckDuckGo searches. Then I look at the lyrics and every one I found (Lyrics, Azlyrics, Genius, etc) all leave the apostrophe out of the title, but then put it in every reference used in the song. This is the kind of things that occupy my mind on long runs hehehe.
“I got my bell, I’m gonna take you to hell” – rest in peace Bon Scott