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The Wind | by Robinsegg
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The Wind

Painted Bunting (Best Viewed Large)

 

I saw you toss the kites on high

And blow the birds about the sky;

And all around I heard you pass,

Like ladies' skirts across the grass--

O wind, a-blowing all day long,

O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,

But always you yourself you hid.

I felt you push, I heard you call,

I could not see yourself at all--

O wind, a-blowing all day long,

O wind, that sings so loud a song!

 

O you that are so strong and cold,

O blower, are you young or old?

Are you a beast of field and tree,

Or just a stronger child than me?

O wind, a-blowing all day long,

O wind, that sings so loud a song!

 

"The Wind" - Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Fish Springs NWR is in a remote section of Utah's West Desert. The Painted Bunting's normal northwesterly range is Texas, so this individual is a long way from home. Hope he made it to his migratory destination in Mexico when the time came to take to the wing.

 

This sighting was very special for me. The day began as a rare bird chase. The bunting had been sighted at Fish Springs, a place I had never visited. It is a LONG eighty miles of dirt road, in addition to the 60+ miles of highway from our home in Salt Lake. We arrived mid-morning to a place that is truly an oasis in the desert. Spring-fed impoundments host a great deal of waterfowl, but just beyond the refuge's bounday, the landscape is as dry as the moon. The facility includes, I kid you not, a total of five cottonwood trees which were planted to provide shade in a public picnic area. After about an hour, this is where we found the bunting. He looked terrible, wind-blown and hungry. While we were waiting, I managed to capture a Western Kingbird tossing a grasshopper into the air before he finally consumed it. After shooting the bunting, we checked the impoundments in the area and found another vagrant; a Reddish Egret! On the way home we caught a glimpse of a herd of wild horses(too far away for a photo), antelope, horned lark and other desert tolerant birds.

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Taken on August 4, 2007