Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The Great Lake Erie...iced over...not unlike my feet.

What an amazing sight to behold! And not a soul stirring other than your intrepid host and his side kick, the delirious Doodles! We had the boardwalk at Magee Marsh all to ourselves. It was a very cold day with the trail deeply covered in freshly fallen snow. The only signs of life were the tracks left by the squirrels, desperate to eke out a living for their squirrely families...and the occasional Downy Woodpecker, pecking wood as only a woodpecker can.

We walked quickly at first, then we slowed to a crawl as we heard nothing, a nothing like nothing we had never heard before! It was a fluffy quiet that hits your ears like an over cottoned q-tip. We took every step, step by step, being sure not to make any mis-steps that would be mistaken for a step that was not. "Shhhh. Did you not hear that?" The Doodles ear-muffed ears heard a muffled nothing closing in on us. Let's step up our stepping, stepping carefully of course...

The only steps to be seen are the steps of the Doodles stepping carefully around her steps to photograph the steps left by her steps.

The shock and stress caused her to faint and fall as a flake of snow would fall, falling into the snow like snowflakes do!

Said I. Still in shock while driving after stepping...and picking up the Doodles.

And here it is!
The FIRST photographic evidence of a nesting "Carpodacus Ninguis" or Snowball Finche!

Your intrepid host crept quietly while stepping stealthily to nab a close up of this Snowball Finche upon her nest.
Its obvious from the field marks that this is a female.

Of course I would never think of blogging a blog without the behind of the bird!
It's ventral aspect is astounding!

As you can tell, even the Downy Woodpecker had to stop pecking wood!
A sight to behold, of that I am sure.

I'll be waiting for that call from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology...
or some sort of professional institution...


  1. I think I am speechless by this rare find!

  2. Great post Dave.
    Always good to step upon a rarity like that too ;)

    I think we've had a few stray over here recently.

  3. That, Sir, was a great post.
    It's interesting the different customs you have in Ohio than we have in Michigan where we make our snow angels on our backs rather than on our faces.
    Dr. Seuss has nothing on you kid!

  4. ...you two are so silly!! Hehehe...and funny! I'll have to look out for one of those down here...I wonder if they go as far south as the Ohio R?

  5. I think you are correct about one thing: a "professional institution" should be calling you any day! :-) LOVE you and the Doodles, but tell her she's in BIG trouble for making snow angels without me. They are my speciality (even though mine always have these horn-like impressions above my head.) ---weird, huh?! It was great to see and hug you both this weekend!

  6. Great photos! And the content was quite entertaining!

  7. Sally, I apologize. I hope your voice improves soon!

    Thanks Keith, maybe you'll get a shot at one!

    Springman, you should try the "Birds From Behind" style of snow angel...though it is difficult to breath.

    Kelly, They only nest in the deepest of deep...uh...snow.

    Kimmay! If you could recommend a proper institution that would appreciate my work...I would appreciate it. Thank you.

    Thanks Empty! What an unusual name...

    It was my pleasure cracking you up Karen!

  8. ITS official now!! LOL you had me so curious...thanks for the laugh great stuff!!

  9. I couldn't find it in any of my five guide books of N.A. birds! A real find!! You cracked me up!

  10. Oh. My. God. The Snowball Finches of the Oak Openings have escaped to the Lake. How did this happen? We need to put a big honkin' cover over the park to keep the rest of them from finding the awesome habitat at Magee.

    Oh wait a minute, after conferring with my peeps, we've determined that you have a Carpodacus Ninguis Mageeous, not the Carpodacus Ninguis Oakious. Whew.

    I can just about guarantee that Rick N. will find the one and only one ever seen in South Texas in the winter.

    Were you able to get recordings of it's call?

  11. A great story and you have made a few people very happy by posting it. Thanks for sharing Dave...

  12. Dixxe, thanks for visiting! You know what they say about curiosity!

    Hilke, you need a very SPECIAL guide book for the birds I sometimes see...

    Marianne, I can't believe there are sub-species out there! Rick won't find any in Texas. They migrate NORTH to the pole in the summer...honest.

    Thanks Andrew, I hope you were one of the folks that laughed. But you know, I was really serious, I never joke about these things...really!

  13. Thought I was reading Dr. Seuss there for a minute!
    Great find! :)

  14. Thanks Bianca! Maybe I should start coloring the pictures too...

  15. Good fun Dave. Poor Doodle having to pose in the cold for you like that!

  16. A great and funny blog, and the pictures. It was fantastic to see the Dusky Woodpecker.

  17. Phil, not to worry about the Doodles, she volunteered!

    Thanks Bob! Every once in a while I really feel the need to go off the deep end...