Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Two nations divided

I have a good friend in Cape May, who is quite the most brilliant naturalist I have ever met; rather gallingly, he is also among the most brilliant human beings I have ever met. We have birded many times together in Bolivia, when I lived there and he often visited for work, and in New Jersey, where he showed me my first snowy owl, harlequin ducks, wild turkeys and many other goodies. He writes of his parallel vertebrate yearlist:

I now stand at 135 for the state/country and 130 for Cape May county. The last was a rufous hummer which is overwintering at a feeder, one of two doing just that in Cape May this winter - remarkable. I am still beating you on amphibians but have not yet added another mammal (I am at five, not counting humans the way you rabid twitcher ticker ornithogolfers do). Strange that you have seen more mammals on your over-hunted over-civilized arctic isle.

How readily one goes off people, though he has a point.

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