Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Birding basics

 First, you need some leftover rouille, to put on the bottom of your foccaccia. Then you need some bresaola and pea shoots. And finally some chive oil to slather greenly on to the top layer of sandwich. Also you need a Wholefoods at Columbus Circle for cheese, and you need some  sauvignon blanc and a freezer-sleeve for cooling it in your padded backpack from Crate and Barrel.

Then you need an empty bench in the Ramble, which even on a long weekend Sunday will be deserted, despite the hordes elsewhere in the park.Our bench had space for us, our picnic bag, our napkins, two small glasses of hooch, our bamboo cutting board and a hunk o'stinky cheese.

Woodpeckers darted and pecked overhead. Songbirds ate seeds in the high branches. Wrens rustled. Flights of doves flew on whickering wings. A siren wailed from the Upper East Side. Just before I stood up to leave, a bird pooped on me. Bull's eye.
A bird book is also very useful. I bought mine that night, after being frustrated at my complete inability to identify 70% of the birds we saw. The Sibley Field Guide was recommended by Rob Jett. Either you buy a huge fat book or one for Eastern North America or Western North America. Or neither, if you are nowhere near North America...



  1. the sandwhich..looks great ! Love the picnic..sounds nice...we are soaking wet out here in rowboats....

    I love wild that Sibley guide...mine is thread bare.

    I have a nice little feeding station here for my to here them cooing in the morning.....

    More later,

  2. Thankyou for your bird book advice.

    (And I've linked to your paprikash post.)

  3. ooh , i didn't know birding was so delicious.

  4. I never have such delicious provisions with me when i'm birding! The Sibley is definitely the new standard but a little big to be a comfortable "field guide"...unless you've got a back pack that's big enough to carry that delicious lunch of yours plus a book, of course!


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