Friday, November 12, 2010
Rusty Blackbird in NC
I got home yesterday evening from California. My wife picked me up at the airport and we hit one of our good local restaurants--Vin Rouge--for a quick meal featuring perfectly prepared steamed mussels in white wine and cream with french fries for me, and trout with pureed potatoes for my wife. It felt good to sleep in my own bed after the whirlwind of the past 5 days.
This morning my local birding buddy, Pam, and I headed out about 8:30 to check the usual rusty blackbird spots. The rusties have started to be seen in central NC, so I was optimistic, but after checking 3 good spots and finding none, I was thinking maybe today was not our day. At our 4th stop, which had the best rusty habitat of the day, we heard 1 calling. After about 10 minutes we saw it fly across the wetland and land in the top of a tree. It then flew further out beyond where we could see it. We plan to go out again in the next few days in hopes of finding a larger group, and maybe some photos.
Since I have no pertinent bird photos to post today, the photos above are from our recent time in Italy. Last year when we visited Florence in the fall we and our friends, Craig and Renee, made a day trip up to Bologna to eat at the Godot Wine Bar which my wife and I had discovered back in 2004. We spent about 4 hours thoroughly enjoying the food and wine that day. Craig thought it was one of his all time favorite meals, so we decided to go again this past week.
We went on Monday which was All Saints Day. We took our good friend Giulia who works at Fuori Porta in Florence. We arrived at Godot to find that the ownership had changed in April. We were bummed because we discovered last year that 1 of the owners was a huge american football fan, especially of the TX longhorns. Craig, who lives in Austin, had brought him a TX football jersey. The best we could do was talk with him on the phone, and tell him to come by to pick up a gift we had brought for him.
We proceeded to have a very good lunch. The top photo is coddled eggs with shaved white truffles that was quite nice. The middle pic is of our friend Renee with a bowl of the classic pasta bolognese. The 3rd photo down is a rabbit cacciatore with wedges of white polenta. Other starter dishes included tagliatelle with leeks and cream, and steak tartare. Other main dishes included a small roasted poussin, and chitarra pasta with truffles.
For wines we began with an '08 Vie di Romans sauvignon blanc followed by an '06 riserva verdicchio from a producer that I did not know. Both wines were fine examples of their grapes and regions. Our red wines were an '08 etna rosso from Terre Nere, and an '07 carignano Terre Brune from Santadi. Each also were handsome representatives of their grapes and regions.
Pam and I saw 30 birds on the first day of week #46, and the rusty blackbird raises the YTD up to 691. There is an updated travel map. I am now in a holding pattern waiting to see what rarity might show up next. In the mean time I will bird some locally, and continue to share more about our trip to Italy. Stay tuned!