#400!!!!!!!!!! A new world record!!

I walked along a trail stepping over vines as hundreds if not thousands of tiny hermit crabs shuffled away from my feet while a Canivet’s Emerald watched me trip over a rock (above).  I stopped hearing something move to my left.  I glanced a wary eye hopeful that what moved was not a deadly venomous fer-de-lance, coiled and ready to end my life as I walked through the tropical forest looking for birds. Luckily it was just another iguana.   It was my forty seventh day of my birth, a day I was told caused my mother a great deal of pain.  Somehow as she now watched our children and I stood at the edge of Central America naked, looking for birds, I felt she was getting a little bit of revenge.

The black iguana came better into view.  It was one of the six or seven species of lizard I had seen upon entering the sky trail, leading around this property.  I had just finished reading a book called “Jungleland” about an explorer, maybe even an adventurer like me who had come to Honduras looking for the lost White City, or a city of the Monkey Temple and had come home with an understanding.  A female green-breasted mango hummingbird buzzed a foot from my nose looking at the intruder in her realm.  Her white striped belly with a center of blue so clearly visible before me, I could almost taste it.

The heat oppressed me, as sweat beaded and ran down my back as pigeons and vireos flew away as I continued on the trail carved in rock that seemed of another planet and I walked on the grey trail made up of a local concoction of sand mixed with seaweed forming a sort of cement the cushioned my walk.  I ducked under a branch and climbed through a tunnel of vegetation and an American redstart, a migrant itching to make the crossing to the Midwest flitted to my left.  Finally I made it to the stairs, fifty five of them that led through the forest to the canopy the flat temple-like construction named Ananda which means “bliss.”  A young woman, a goddess maybe, was bent over chanting in some sort of yoga position or something spiritual.  I had finally reached it, I had arrived. Had I found Nirvana?

No this was not the monkey temple nor was this a goddess, it was the yoga pavillian and she was the yoga instructor and it was time for my massage.  An hour later, I walked back down the stairs and moved on the trail and then I saw number 399, a female Scarlet tanager, I was ecstatic….one to go!

I kept going almost tripping over a lizzard, it was like I could feel it, the holy grail– my record, I NEEDED 400.  I willed forward searching scanning for something, anything… and then in a guava tree I saw it, yellow, flitting around, a prothonatory warbler one of the prettiest warblers, one I had painted in my youth, but I have only ever seen one before today………….it was number 400, I checked my pulse, I was still alive, and I had reached a true milestone, 400 species of bird seen in the nude with four months plus to go…..400 and counting.


5 thoughts on “#400!!!!!!!!!! A new world record!!

  1. CONGRADS BRAD!!!!!! Wow!! 400. And such a special sighting too.
    Just today I read an article talking about condor’s in Big Sur…California coast. They have been sighted at Phifier State park which Alan hiked nude many moons ago….SO…Did you see the movie the Sandpipers with Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton? Watch it…..Its filmed in Big Sur.
    Luv, Mom

  2. Congratulations are in order, both on the sightings and on having a birthday; you are still a youngster. I look forward to hearing where you might go next. With snow and zero temps here in Ontario, my nude birding is confined to my house. I think a Merlin soared by a few minutes ago, but the binocs were not in my hand. I am getting cramps in my ears listening for the redwing blackbirds.


  3. What a wonderful day. 400 on your birthday. A day you will never forget, especially as you are in such a magnificent location. Congratulations.

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