While looking up information on the Banana book, I discovered that the author Dan Koeppel also wrote a book about his dad, a hardcore “Big Lister” birder who wanted to see every bird on earth. At the time this book was published, Richard Koeppel has seen 7,000 birds. Dan Koeppel wrote this book to try and find out why his dad was so obsessed with birds. There isn’t really answer, he just was. Richard Koeppel gave up his dreams of becoming an ornithologist and became a physician to please his parents. He got married, had kids, bought a house and tried to live a ‘normal’ life, but he could never stopped birding. Birding came before his wife, his children, his career, and his health. This book was an interesting look into the more serious side of bird watching. I did not know there were such specific birding rules that one must follow. I didn’t even know there were such hardcore birders out there.
My goal is not see to every bird on earth. But in the past few weeks during my walks around the Shore Road promenade I’ve seen:
- a large flock of Brant geese
- two pairs of red-breasted mergansers
- a few pairs of bufflehead ducks
- a few American black ducks
Yesterday I was walking down Fort Hamilton Parkway. Right at the intersection of Fort Hamilton, 7th Ave and 78th Street I heard really loud unfamiliar squawking/chattering noise. I looked up and saw a pair of monk parakeets sitting on some wires on the top of a telephone poll. In that in the late 1960’s, a bunch of monk parakeets where shipped to New York from Argentina and escaped from their crates at JFK Airport. The parakeets quickly adapted to city life. There are now established colonies of monk parakeets at Brooklyn College in Flatbush, in Green-Wood Cemetery, and in parts of Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Coney Island, and now apparently in Bay Ridge.
Somehow, magically, I have not been sick all winter. But today I succumbed to a lousy cold/sore throat/body achy bug. It is finally my turn to use my sick days. This morning while browsing my blogs I found a recipe on the Smitten Kitchen for 44-clove garlic soup. What better time to eat something with 44 cloves of garlic in it then when you’re home sick alone on a cold rainy day? So I trudged through the driving rain to the grocery store for lots of garlic and some cream. Let me tell you, it was worth it. This soup is out of this world. Hopefully all that garlic is driving out my cold. I probably should take another sick day tomorrow just to make sure.