Utah County Birders Newsletter
July 2000

July Meeting: 

7:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 19 At the Bean Museum on the BYU Campus- Provo, Utah. 
"Birds of the Lower Rio Grande valley, Texas" 
presented by 
Dennis Shirley 
Dennis will report on his recent trip to Texas and show slides of the birds found there.

August Meeting:

Utah County Birders Annual Potluck. 
7:00 p.m., FRIDAY, 18th. 
In Darlene Amott's Yard. 
Details to be announced.


August 5th

Mirror Lake Highway

Meet at the Bean Museum Parking lot at 6:00 a.m. to car pool up. 
Or meet up there at the Provo River Falls Overlook at 8:00 a.m.

Target Species: Gray Jay, Pine Grosbeak, Clark's Nutcracker, Williamson's Sapsucker, Three-toed Woodpecker, and Red Crossbills.

Just Sit
 by Darlene Amott 

Several months ago I wrote an article advocating the "Big Sit." It was good advice which fell on deaf ears, my deaf ears. I haven't even tried to sit and watch since then. Spurred on by a thought I came across in a book I was reading the other night, I decided it was time to echo the idea, and do something about it. The book was Lydia Minatoya's, Talking to High Monks in the Snow. A most interesting book, by the way, in case you like to read. While in Nepal, Lydia talked to a researcher who told her of a time when her car broke down in the Kalahari Desert. She was unable to get where she needed to go without spending idle hours waiting for the car to cool down. Finally the researcher realized that what she had was unlimited time to do as she pleased. Days were spent studying the little things of the Kalahari. In time her motto became one we could all live by. "Don't just do something, sit there." What a wonderful idea. In the first article, I stressed the value of sitting to allow us to see more. This time the value I see is less tangible. By just sitting and enjoying the beauty of the world around us, we can feel a sense of calmness and renewal. All of us live lives that pull us in many directions at once, and often cause us to experience stress, frustration, high blood pressure, ulcers, or other such problems. We need to just sit once in a while. What better place could we sit than out in a field, or among the trees, or by a body of water. What more renewing experience could we have than watching a bird soaring, or swimming, or sitting on a bush singing. Some time ago, a few of us stood in a field just north of Burreston Pond. Within just a few minutes we had seen at least ten species of birds. As usual, we were in a hurry to go particular places before time ran out, so we left. Why? Who knows what we might have seen had we just stayed there. Who knows what we might have felt had we just stayed there. There are times when the fun of birding is in the chase, but there are times, as well, when the fun is in just seeing. Once again, I challenge all of us to follow the admonition, "Don't just do something, sit there."

Robin's View

Have a Seat
by Robin Tuck

Have a seat I asked Dennis how he found the Three-toed Woodpecker up at the Nebo Bench Trail Head, thinking he had seen it cross the road and followed it to it's nest. Not so. He stopped for lunch and wandered into the grove with his lunch box and a chair. Patience and good observation skills did the rest. Dennis isn't alone using this technique. Whenever Lois birds with the crowd and they head out on some long walk, she ambles out with her chair and finds a shady spot to rest and watch. Often when the others return, they haven't seen half as many species as she has, including the one they went hiking for. It seems to take several minutes or more for the birds to come back out after being silenced by someone passing through. Motion and noise send them scurrying for cover but stop and wait for a time and they begin to become active again. Birds are what one would call 'hyperactive' and require a lot of food to keep going. This means that they can't stay hidden all day, but they must get out and hustle up some grub (or seeds or bugs). Stopping and waiting quietly is the secret, and a chair makes the waiting a touch easier. Note that the chair needn't be some fancy affair, just something to take the weight off your feet so you don't shift around and make needless noise and motion. Most of the time we hurry from here to there never giving the birds time to adjust to our presence. Perhaps it's our 'hurry-up' life style but we would all learn more and see more if we just kicked back and let the birds come to us.

Milestones For you listers

We would like to know of any listing milestones (Utah County, Utah, ABA, World) and announce them in the newsletter. We'll start with Tuula. Tuula Rose got her #300 Utah State bird. A Grasshopper Sparrow at Anilope Island on June 24th.

Another Announcement Josh Kreitzer, from St George, has received his mission call. He will be serving in the Hungary Budapest Mission, and will enter the MTC on August 23.