Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Preserve

After a series of boring, frustrating jobs, I've finally landed one I genuinely enjoy: preserve steward in Calvin's ecosystem preserve. My responsibilities? Walk the trails, greet visitors, clear fallen branches, pick up litter, and, oh, watch birds.

It is tempting to surmise that frigid (well, actually, it's been extraordinarily warm this winter) woods are lifeless, but three hours of roaming through them will convince you otherwise. Bird numbers and diversity were low, as would be expected, but my wanderings produced a couple goodies, including a Northern Shrike and a Great Horned Owl. I had packed only my wide-angle lens, so the shrike in this photo may or may not be identifiable.

The woods really are beautiful this time of year. I will cherish the privilege of being paid to wander through them.


Silly Putty said...

Nice score, Neil! Getting paid to bird is tough.

playonbirds said...

Hi Neil, your pictures are lovely, and I enjoy your commentary and sense of humor. This blog entry brings me back to my beloved Michigan. I grew up in the Ann Arbor area, went to college at Kalamazoo College, and then fell in love with a Calvin College graduate who was once also a steward of the school's nature preserve! Now I work in Texas, and write a blog about the birds I see here. My heart is still in Michigan!