Up to Utica to retrieve the older boy this weekend. The trip was fairly nice, especially the waking up in the morning on Sunday, hearing Yellow Warblers and a single Yellowthroat out the hotel window, plus a Willow Flycatcher sneezing away in the back area. Old, slightly run-down motels are my favorites. Cheap, uncrowded, generally a single row of rooms or cabins, and often quiet and nice for birding by ear first thing in the morning. A fair amount of birdlife this time, but no Ravens, Turkeys, Pileateds or other snazzy birds. I did catch a glimpse of a hawk dropping down out of a tree into the brush at the side of the road, which appeared to have a lot of white on its back, but since I don’t know of any white-backed hawks, I’m going to put it down as an hallucination. The best bird of the weekend was actually this morning, when I heard out the bathroom window either the same Swainson’s Thrush as we had last Tuesday, or another one singing in the backyard. Back to the trip – we stopped on the way back at Gilligan’s Island off Rt 12, and for a minute there, I felt like I was in a remake of Wierd Al’s Albuquerque – I asked for several flavors of ice cream off the menu board, and each time, it turned out they were out. I had a wild urge to ask for a bear claw, but restrained myself. I doubt the girls there are Wierd Al fans. Also, they might have given me a box of crazed weasels.
Back home a bit after 9:30 pm, a bit frazzled from the up and back, but 7 hours up and 7 1/2 hours back isn’t bad, considering.