Is it possible for an aspiring novelist to come live at the Institute of Advanced Studies and make mathematicians uncomfortable by her nerdiness? It seems yes, if the nerdiness motivates from birding. It is nice to know that there is a clear Nerd hierarchy, and that even the most socially ostracized of smart people have others they can look down on. I’m almost happy to provide such an out, especially if it means new species on my life list. That’s right, I have a life list, I’m not afraid to say it.
Anyway, I was sitting outside Fuld with two math guys, Carl and The Webster, eating my cookies (three kinds yesterday – peanut butter, chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips, and then a jam filled sugar cookie sandwich) and listening to a discussion of the process of math, as it is distilled for a layperson such as myself, when up above my head on the weather vane what did I spy but a fat juicy hawk! This was too much – cookies and Buteos? Well, I made the interpersonal faux pas our parents always warned us about and pulled out the ‘nocs, the binos, the old Minolta 8x23s that I have made a habit of carrying around with me here. Upon proceeding with identification (it was a Red Tail) The Webster fled into the building, hands raised in fear, face distorted in disgust. Carl actually wanted to take a look at the bird, and he seemed perfectly comfortable with the act of birding in public – but then again, my boyfriend is his advisor, so what choice did he really have? And he’s from Berkeley, so there you go.
So this has been your warning, and if you would like to wander off to the Daily Kos now would be the time to do it, because what follows is my bird list from Princeton for the last week. The Institute Woods is a very well known birding location for the spring warbler migration, so hopefully I will be posting another list in a few more weeks that makes this list look like I wrote Rock Dove 30x in a row.
The sweetie pictured above is a Hermit Thrush, I saw her on my way in this morning and she was kind enough to hold still for a photo. And this is what the trails look like around here:
And spring has most definitely stated her arrival:Canada Goose
Great Blue heron
Red Tail Hawk
Ruby Crowned Kinglet