vermivora (from vermis, worm, and vorare, to devour) ruficapilla, from rufus, reddish, and capillus, hair)
Saturday, May 10, 1980 — 7:15 am
Conway, Arkansas — Happy Valley Road
I got a chance to meet one of the Sperry’s delightful neighbors this morning. I walked down Happy Valley Road toward Sturgis Road and stopped just before I reached the creek to look at a Loggerhead Shrike. It was perched on a wire over a cow pasture, and I set up my scope to look at it for a while. A short while as it turned out. Suddenly, a lady came screaming out of a trailer home behind me and yelled, “Hey, what are you doing?” I replied as sweetly as I could, “I’m watching birds.” She screamed in a very arrogant manner, “Get out of here.” I hadn’t been looking anywhere near her, or any other, house, so, still being very nice, I said, “I’m just watching that bird over there. I’m being careful not to look near any houses.” She screeched, “If you don’t leave right now, I’m calling the cops.” It was pretty evident that I wasn’t going to be able to reason with this idiot. I almost told her to go ahead and call the cops, figuring that I wasn’t doing anything I needed to worry about. But then I considered the trouble I might cause between the Sperrys and their lovely neighbors, the things I’d heard about southern sheriffs, and the fact that the lady probably had a shotgun. I packed up my scope and walked back to the Sperry’s. When I told Art about it, he laughed.
I walked up the road in the other direction. In the woods along the road, just where it starts up the hill, I found a small flock of warblers. In the midst of them, I spotted a Nashville Warbler.