birdchaser, nuthatch, blow-up doll

February 17, 2008

in Me


The the Partners in Flight (PIF) conference in south Texas has just wound down. It was an interesting three days catching up on bird conservation research, good birds, and old friends. "New" friends, too. Here I am apparently throttling a blow-up doll while Birdchaser Rob Fergus naughtily puts a finger on the original conference artwork, clearly marked DO NOT TOUCH. Rob had already been photographed with many other women: he ran into a group of retired ladies doing the Great Backyard Bird Count at a local nature center who were thrilled to meet Audubon’s face of the GBBC. They invited him back to their trailer park RV park mobile home community for lunch and photo ops.

Rob and I have communicated for a long time, but this is the first time we met. We went out to dinner later, along with Rob’s advisor from the University of Texas-Austin, Robin Doughty, and two of Rob’s friends. We left the blow-up doll behind, although we spent some time speculating on its origin. We thought perhaps someone had celebrated the Valentine’s Day decision by Texas to overturn an old law by bringing it along to the meeting. We engaged in a little "birder blogger smack-down", gossiping about the other bloggers we knew, then the conversation then took a scatalogical turn (related to birds and work…sort of) and never really recovered. We had a great time.

Rob is off to Austin, and Kingfisher and I are going to spend a couple days birding here, as the Rio Grande Valley is one of our favorite spots. More later.

Patrick February 17, 2008 at 12:32 pm

You look like you're getting along well! I'm referring to the doll of course.

John February 19, 2008 at 10:28 am

I think the doll's smile is kind of creepy.

Aydin February 19, 2008 at 11:16 am

When there are real birders around, who needs a blow-up doll?

Mike February 21, 2008 at 11:29 am

I would have loved to have been there, just to hear your birder blogger smack-down.

Just one question – is this the first time you've put a picture of yourself (not just your hands) on this blog? Now the paparazzi will be all over you!

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