After we arrived and settled into the bunkhouse, we began our walk deep into the wetlands in search of grassland species. Despite it being over 90 degrees, we were still able to pick up several birds, which included my first ORCHARD ORIOLE of the year; this was the highlight of the walk for me. We started off the walk with good views of common species such as INDIGO BUNTING, NORTHERN ROUGH WINGED SWALLOW, EASTERN WOOD PEWEE and BALTIMORE ORIOLE. As we got deeper in to the wetlands, we found some lesser common species like this DICKCISSEL:
Since it was sweltering hot outside and the birds were quieting down, we went back and had lunch, then played home run derby and even drove to the nearby town of Peru to play some Pokemon Go while the adults had a siesta. Here is a view of the grasslands from the bunkhouse in which we all stayed.
We came back to the bunkhouse that night to find a car parked in the lot and the lights in the house on. Something wasn't right here. Matthew was the first one to step into the house, and I followed. We walked into the living room to find two big guys lying on the couches, and they did not look very friendly. Matthew began telling them that the house we had rented the house for the weekend, and that they had to leave, but they didn't seem to be responding. I turned around and told all the people entering the house to go back outside, that there were two possibly dangerous men crashing on our couches. All of the dad's walked in to deal with them, including Eddie's dad who was holding the metal bat we were playing baseball with earlier. I remember seeing these men come into the parking lot earlier when we were leaving after dinner, though I guess I didn't really put much thought into it. But still, what kind of people see a parking lot with 6 cars in it and then see a house that was obviously being used and think its fine to just walk in? After giving it some more thought I decided they fell into one of the following categories:
2. Druggies (my guess)
3. Just didn't give a crap
They were not leaving and they were trying to feel us out by making conversation and asking questions. If it were an honest mistake (which it wasn't) they would be like "I'm so sorry, we'll leave immediately."
After about 20 minutes, the dads eventually got em out. The men climbed into their jeep and pulled out of the parking lot, only to stop their car behind the barn so we couldn't see them. What were they doing? Loading their shotguns so they could come back and shoot us? After several long minutes, they finally made it to the main road only to TURN BACK AROUND and drive back to the bunkhouse. Me and the other young birders found it slightly amusing at first, but seeing how the parents reacted, we quickly scattered and hid behind the cars. It turns out, one of the men just forgot his pillow. Nonetheless it was a weird situation, and I'm pretty sure we all slept restlessly that night.
We woke up bright and early the next morning with in the hope of finding more waterfowl, unlike the night before. This day we had much more luck! We were able to see AMERICAN COOT, RUDDY DUCK, BLACK NECKED STILT, and 7 COMMON GALLINULE (although they aren't common)! I was determined to leave with some nice photographs, and managed to snap a few nice pics of this COMMON YELLOWTHROAT!
Life List: 802 (added American Woodcock earlier in June) To see more of my photography, look me up at birder03 on Instagram!