Bird #321 — Louisiana Waterthrush

seiurus (from seio, to shake, and oura, tail) motacilla (water wagtail)

Tuesday, July 17, 1990 — 9:50 am

Kings Mountain National Military Park, South Carolina

I watched the film in the visitor center, toured the museum, then walked the path around and over the mountain where the Revolutionary War battle took place.

I’d walked about a quarter mile around the mountain, reading the trail-side signs, and birding as I went.  The woods were fairly thick, mostly deciduous with an occasional pine sprinkled in.  A tiny brook flowed through the valley nearby.  I know I was the first person on the path that day because I kept removing spider webs with my face.

I heard an Acadian Flycatcher in the woods and was stalking it when another bird popped out of the vegetation and started calling incessantly.  I tried to ignore it and find the flycatcher, but the other bird perched on an exposed branch about 20 feet from where I stood and scolded me.  I gave it a glance and … lifer.  I knew immediately it was a Louisiana Waterthrush.  And it was very cooperative.  It stood on the branch and yelped at me while I recorded field marks into the mini recorder I was carrying.  I had my camera along, and when I’d gotten my fill of looking at it, I tried for a picture.  I had the bird framed in my zoom lens and in focus.  I pushed the button and … that’s when I discovered I was out of film.  I had another roll in the car, but that did me no good.  And the bird still stood there, looking right at me.  I might still be looking at it if I hadn’t been distracted by another bird … my lifer Worm-eating Warbler.

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