Due to the unfortunate reality called “school” that affects most people my age, I have not been doing too much dedicated birding lately. However, because of the demands of being in the midst of cross country season, I have been running in excess of 40 miles per week, providing excellent opportunities for “Sweaty Sanderling” birds. Despite this quantity of running, I have only seen two new SWSA birds since my last posting to this blog in July . . . Red Crossbill and Northern Pygmy-Owl. This post is written to commemorate the finding of the latter species.
My cousin was visiting from Austria and we spent a day exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. We returned home late and missed our XC practice on that fateful day of October the 3rd. An overly tired Welch, stiff from a long day in the car insisted we run after dinner. This was inconvenient in many ways . . . one, it doesn’t feel to good to run after a meal, and two, it was nearly dark. But I had to run, and run I did. A half-mile in, I felt like puking due to the unseemly amount of elk, beans, vegetable stir-fry, and other delicacies I had consumed only minutes earlier. The feeling didn’t subside until I finished the 7-mile slog of a run, but I would find it to be well worth the discomfort.
In the rapidly fading light, I passed our driveway, dropping off Welch, who had a shorter distance to run. Here, I heard a lone Green-tailed Towhee meow its final salute to the passing day. I kept running. Soon after, I heard another call, this one welcoming the night. This, my friends, was the call of one of the most awesome birds on planet Earth, the toot . . . toot . . . toot of the Northern Pygmy-Owl. I hollered for Welch, but he had already retreated into the well-lit interior of the house. “Sucks for him,” I sadly thought as I finished my run.--
Miles Run: 957