Monday, May 17, 2010

Buena Vista Grasslands Bust

After sleeping through the alarm clock and then driving like a mad man I arrived at the Kiosk in Buena Vista Grasslands at 6:10 am on Sunday. I was supposed to meet a very knowledgeable birder there at 6, but alas the parking lot was empty. (I later found out they had already left assuming that I was not going to make it.) I grabbed the scope and looked at birds for nearly an hour, hoping they may swing back around. In the mean time I was fortunate enough to find two new life-birds (seen for the first time) a Greater Prairie Chicken and a Henslow's Sparrow. It was also the first time seeing a Bobolink in Wisconsin, and many additional sparrows for the first time this year.

Shortly after 7 I decided to drive to a different spot and look there, which was my undoing at 7:20 am. The Jeep sprung a leak on of the tubes and I had a slow leak in my antifreeze. Luckily I caught it when it happened and was successful at making it 10 miles back to an Auto-Parts Store. After eating breakfast and waiting for the store to open at 9, Eric (at Advanced Auto) kindly helped me cut off the existing tubing and patch a piece of hosing to close the system and allow me to get back to Marshfield in time for graduation. This is the part that decided to break down after 20 years, I guess that the Jeep has held up fairly well all things considered.

Missing the other birders was a blessing in disguise. They birded until later in the day and I may not have been able to fix the Jeep and make it back to Graduation if I had rode along with them for the morning.

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