Ian’s Irregular Bird – Green Sandpiper

The last irregular bird, Nordmann’s Greenshank, could have had a sub-heading of The Joys of Twitching. In it, I confessed to being a Twitcher at heart, discarding the respectable facade of “Wildlife Photographer”. Here follows the justifications, or at least illustrations of why it can be enjoyable. The background to this particular obsession/passion was the fact that, worldwide, there are thirteen species of Tringa sandpipers, or Shanks, characterised by different coloured legs. I had reasonable photos of all of them except the rarest, Nordmann’s Greenshank, since 2008 (when I photographed the second last one, the Willet of North America). That is, the seven-year itch twice over.
If you are, or ever were, a stamp collector, you would know the feeling. Suppose the following stamps are from a set of 13 stamps of Queen Victoria, including the first ever stamp, the Penny Black and imagine you have all of them except the rarest, the iconic Two Penny Blue, issued shortly after the first ever stamp, The Penny Black, in May 1840.
Imagine the thrill when you finally lay your hands on one, as I did in the 1960s. This one is a rather daggy example, but it is one from the original two plates issued until February 1841 and lacking white lines under “POSTAGE” and above “TWO PENCE”. The much commoner later series called ‘white lines added issue’ continued until 1858.  I’m still a kid at heart, and the subtlety of distinguishing different series of Two Penny Blues has a similar appeal to separating Common and Nordmann’s Greenshank.CHA-Scol victoria0730-01
Alternatively, maybe you were or are a card player. Suppose you’re playing a game in which you the best hand is an entire suit of cards, say a complete Straight Flush, as opposed to a mere Royal Straight Flush in Poker, but you lack the Queen.
At long last, after fourteen nail-biting years, you finally get the missing card. I’ve chosen the Queen as it’s number twelve (if you have the Ace as the first rather than the last in the suit) and Nordmann’s Greenshank is also the twelfth Tringa if you follow the IOC classification of birds. Continuing the metaphor, I’ve chosen Spades as the Queen of Spades is the most valuable card in the game Hearts. The metaphor fails if you go any further, because in Hearts, a vicious game which we loved as kids, the aim is not to win points and to force your opponents to get a high score, It’s Whist in reverse. Clearly, I also have a passion for Queens.

After that it’s just a question of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. An introvert gets a deep personal satisfaction from achieving a complete collection, an extrovert gets a sense  of triumph in beating the competition. Of course, you may be a bit of both: I’m mainly an introvert, but publishing all this stuff as the Irregular Bird, showing off obviously, is characteristic of extroverts.

So, back to Tringas. Waders (birdway) are fascinating birds, not least because many of them migrate extraordinary distances. As a consequence, they’re of special interest to twitchers when avian GPSs go awry and they end up in strange places. Many species, however, are hard to distinguish in non-breeding plumages, which is how we usually see them in temperate and tropical latitudes except just before the migration back to the breeding zones. Most, but not all, of the Shanks are fairly easy to identify because of their coloured legs; many of them having corresponding common names as you can see in the IOC table. Four of them, comprising the two Redshanks and the two Tattlers, have featured as Irregular Birds in the past, so I want to do a series on the remaining eight and I’ll do them in the IOC order shown in the table at the beginning of this article. The first is the Green Sandpiper.

Green Sandpiper by Ian

The breeding range of the Green Sandpiper stretches right across northern Eurasian from Norway to Siberia and it winters mainly in tropical Africa, South and Southeast Asia, around the Mediterranean and, to a lesser extent in Western Europe. It’s mainly a bird of fresh water marshy areas even in the non-breeding zones. I’ve photographed it only once, in India in 2003, though I had seen it in England in the 1960s before I came to Australia.It’s even rarer in Australia than Nordmann’s Greenshank with only one confirmed record, near Darwin in 1998. There are a few unconfirmed records but care needs to be taken to distinguish it from the closely related Solitary Sandpiper of America and the Wood Sandpiper.
In fact, I mistakenly identified the Indian bird as a Wood Sandpiper, reasonably common in Australia and also a fresh water species, and posted it as such to the website, and only years later did the twitcher in me take a closer look and realise happily that it was actually a Green Sandpiper. Distinguishing features of the Green Sandpiper include larger size, bulkier appearance, short white eye-stripe ending at eye, longer bill, shorter, greenish legs, sharp gradation from streaked breast to white belly and, particularly in breeding plumage like this one, darker, greener rather than brown upper parts.

Green Sandpiper by IanI mentioned when discussing the unusual arboreal nest building habits of Nordmann’s Greenshank that the Green and Solitary Sandpipers also nest in trees, but use the old nests of thrushes.  Coincidentally the name Tringa comes from a description of a thrush-sized waterbird by Aristotle (“trungas”). He didn’t distinguish it further but later authors have suggested it was a sandpiper, a Wagtail Motacilla or a Dipper Cinclus. Thanks very much. While we’re at it, ochropus means pale-yellow footed, while the specific identifier of Normann’s Greenshank, guttifer, means spotted, which isn’t very illuminating either. Aristotle preceded the taxonomic and evolutionary ideas of Linnaeus and Darwin, and “thrush-like waterbird” is a reasonable description, except for the length of the legs. He was interested in biology, classified 500 species of animals in the work later known by philosophers as the Scala Naturae and would have been familiar with the Song Thrush, below, in Greece. The Scala Naturae was approved by the Christian Church (and probably all others) as it is hierarchical in form with man at the top, towering above all the lower species.

On the subject of passion and obsession, I’ve decided that the difference is mainly one of perception. A person might think they (in deference to gender fluidity) have a passion for another person and, if not reciprocated, the other party might regard it as an obsession. My cousin in Ireland suggests that obsessions have a negative effect, so maybe it’s more than just perception. Either way, I’ll continue the passion for Tringas next time with the closely related but geographically distinct (“allopatric”), thrush-nest-using, Solitary Sandpiper of America.
You can’t reply directly to these emails, so if you want to write to me, use my email address below. I’ve recently had occasional problems with receiving emails to ian@birdway.com.au, so ianbirdway@gmail.com is preferable.
Greetings,
Ian


Ian Montgomery,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ianbirdway@gmail.com

Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au

Lee’s Addition:

Seems that Ian is getting active again with his birdwatching. He, like the rest of us, was quite for awhile during all these lockdowns. I have another of his articles coming soon. Stay tuned.
“As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.” (Proverbs 27:8 KJV)
See:

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Good News

Sunday Inspiration – Christmas Birds Revisited 2021

Two-barred Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)(White-winged) by Raymond Barlow

Two-barred Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)(White-winged) by Raymond Barlow

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:1-2 KJV)

Thought you might enjoy a Christmas post from the past. (2012)

Today I am doing something a little different. Instead of a song, there is a short Christmas message from my pastor. This was given during the Camel Lot Christmas Musical that we had in 2012. It applies for today, as well. Listen to Pastor Nathan Osborne III as you watch some of the Lord Jesus Christ’s creation among the birds.

The birth of the Jesus, His death on the cross and His resurrection are all a part of Christmas.

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Our Pastor at the Christmas Camel Lot Musical – 2012

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(Started adding Christmas colored birds, but then added newer photos from this year.)

Sunday Inspirations

Some Previous Christmas Articles

Noise Pollution

Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Colossians 4:6 The Message

Brown Thrasher singing in a tree against a blue sky. March, 2018; Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

Last summer I decided to try my hand at recording bird songs. I downloaded a recommended app and went out into the field. While listening to the wonderful songs of a Brown Thrasher, I just knew I had a great recording. But when I got back inside to listen, I was shocked. Car engines, airplane noise, the air conditioning unit… all of them destroying the talented thrush’s solo. I soon found that the hardest part of getting good bird recordings was finding a quiet place to record them.

Noise pollution! I had never really realized just how much noise there is out there… in nature as well as the world of social interactions! The good and pleasant conversation is drowned out by contempt and complaint.

Ecclesiastes 10:20 Never curse the king, not even in your thoughts, nor the rich man, either; for a little bird may tell them what you’ve said.

Often, there isn’t much you can do to control nose pollution, except to decide that you won’t add to it. You can control your own speech! Am I adding to the noise pollution by complaining, attacking and slandering? Am I civil and encouraging in my speech? How are people left feeling after a conversation with me: uplifted or dragged down into the mud?

How did people feel after an encounter with Jesus?  The disciples on the road to Emmaus related their experience: “They began telling each other how their hearts were warmed as he talked with them and explained the Scriptures during the walk down the road.” Let us strive to produce the same fruit with our words.

Deuteronomy 32:2 NLT “Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.”


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Hide and Seek

Have you ever shouted to God, “COME OUT, COME OUT WHEREVER YOU ARE!”?

Ezekiel 39:29  “Neither will I hide my face any more from them…”

A Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) appears to play hide-and-seek in a nest cavity. March 31, 2017; Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

Birding can sometimes feel like a game of hide-and-seek. The birds have the “hide” part down pat! They are masters of camouflage and stealth, and seem to know the cleverest places to hide. So the birders must play the “seek” side of the game. We maximize our chances of finding particular bird species by learning where they live – their range and habitat within the range – and going where the birds are!

There are times it seems like God is playing hide-and-seek with us. Our theology says God is omnipresent, but our feelings say He has hidden Himself and is nowhere to be found.  Like Martha and Mary when their brother Lazarus passed away, we blame God for being absent when crisis and need hits — “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” (John 11:21).

But have you thought that maybe God isn’t hiding; and perhaps the problem is with our seeking? Jesus was quite willing to commune with those who desired His company. When two disciples asked, “Where dwellest thou?” Jesus offered the open invitation of come and see (John 1:38). Since the Bible promises us that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), perhaps our seeking isn’t as diligent as we thought.

God is not hiding. He can be seen in the design, order and complexity of nature around us… especially the birds! And just like searching for a bird in its range and habitat, we maximize our chances by seeking God in the right places. Where does God “hide”? Maybe He is “hidden” in that Bible on your bookshelf? Or perhaps He can be found in that church down the road? One thing is certain: if you are honest and diligent, He will be found!

Deuteronomy 30:11-14 “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Back On Course

James 1:16-18 The Message “So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course.”

Normally along the coast, this Least Tern (Sternula antillarum) was a bit off course when spotted in Walton County, Georgia. June 11, 2020. Photo by William Wise.

As the fall migrations progress, there are often birds that go off course and show up in odd areas where they are not normally observed. Even  though they may be a common bird elsewhere, birders often delight in seeing these vagrants and will travel miles and miles to add them to their checklists. These birds may have drifted off course from storms or strong weather patterns, or by following the wrong flock (“abmigration”).

Earlier this summer I was delighted when I found a Least Tern flapping in graceful circles over the retention pond behind my office in Walton County, Georgia…  about 260 miles from the coast! What a delight to have the first and only eBird sighting for my county! Yes, I could have simply driven four hours east and seen as many Least Terns as I wanted. But this drifter was a delight to be seen so far off course.

In our Christian walk, we too can become spiritual “vagrants”. We might neglect Bible reading or prayer, or prolonged absence from in-person church attendance might leave us a tad off course. But when a Christian strays, there is no joy… except with Satan! He’s just waiting to add another drifting Christian to his list.

Hebrews 3:12-14  The Message  So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God.

But thank God we have a Divine Navigator that can direct our feet and put us back on course. His Word casts a beam of light and makes it simple to find the correct course. The Holy Spirit’s guidance is a gift that keeps us from becoming a checkmark on the devil’s eBird list!

John 12:46 I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer wander in the darkness.


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Fighting the Reflection

Like a bird fighting its reflection in a window, we too can fight our true reflection as revealed by the Word of God…

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” James 1:23-24

Tufted Titmouse; Walton County, Georgia. September 2, 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Legally download this image here.

As I sit listening to the Sunday morning sermon, I’m distracted by a feisty little Tufted Titmouse flying up to the window attacking his reflection. He believes the image in the glass to be a rival interloper invading his territory. Because the bird doesn’t like what he sees, he decides to fight the reflection.

While I watched this aggravated avian, my pastor continued to preach from the book of James. In the letter, James describes the Word of God as a mirror that reflects what manner of men we are. We have our own self-image, but our image of ourselves is always quite different than how God sees us. And the Bible has a way of revealing who we really are; a true reflection, as in a mirror.

Tufted Titmouse fighting its reflection; Athens, Georgia. www.williamwisephoto.com.

Often, as the mirror’s image comes into clear focus, we don’t like the image that we see, and like the Titmouse, we fight against that reflection.

  • When the mirror of the Word reflects our true, impatient self (James 1:4), we fight against the reflection and declare ourselves to have “the patience of Job.”
  • When the mirror reflects our poor decisions and “lack of wisdom” (James 1:5), we fight the reflection and declare the Bible outdated.
  • When the mirror of the Word reflects our true, double-minded nature (James 1:8), we fight the reflection and posit our focused faithfulness to God alone.
  • When the mirror of the Word reflects our own sinful nature as the fault of our falling to temptation (James 1:13), we fight the reflection declaring “this is how God created me.”
  • When the mirror of the Word of God reflects our hot temper (James 1:19), we fight the reflection, take up a rock and smash the mirror!

When we see our true reflection in the mirror of the Word of God, let us not fight against it as the church Titmouse. Let us not walk away and “forget what manner of men we are.” But let us be doers of the Word, and as Today’s English Version translates, let us “submit to God and accept the Word that He plants in our hearts” (James 1:21 TEV). Another lesson learned if we will listen to what creation speaks!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Parental Care

I gazed in awe all spring long as I watched avian parents make run after run to their nests with beaks’ full of bugs for their babies. At times, there were only a few minutes between visits. I marveled how they had the endurance for such toil and labor and still cared for themselves. At least the entire bird parental process only lasts a few weeks, while for us humans it lasts eighteen or more years!

Baby Chipping Sparrows awaiting parental care. Clarke County, Georgia. July 24, 2018. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

But “parental care” took a new definition for me as I answered a call back home these last few weeks. My aging father, who so diligently cared for me as an often ungrateful youngster, could no longer live on his own. I regret that being over 800 miles away and involved in the ministry, we couldn’t provide that care personally, but found a wonderful, brand new assisted living complex for him. At least my wife and I know he is being cared for.

While the phenomenon of children caring for parents isn’t seen in the bird species, it is a Biblical concept and obligation. In a time of trouble and distress, we read of King David providing for the care of his parents.

And David said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me. And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold. I Samuel 22:3-4

Chipping Sparrow feeding three nestlings. Clarke County, GA. July 24, 2018. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

Even so, isn’t it just natural to care for those who raised us with such tender love and care until they go into everlasting care with our eternal Father?


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Wild Glory

What a gift the Creator has given us! The world and all its psychologists wring their hands looking for relief from distress and anxiety. They drown their fears in medications. But the child of God need not do so. For a simple walk out the door to behold the “Wild Glory” of the Lord brings comfort and peace.

“They looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared.” Exodus 16:10

Great Egret; birding photography in Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

In his autobiography, W. Phillip Keller, author of the popular A Shepherd Looks at Psalms 23, describes a troublesome period in his youth when he is separated from his family, his home, and even his God. Yet it was brief escapes into the wild that renewed his faith. He writes, “In the outdoor world my heavenly Father had supplied a sweet solace for a struggling soul like mine. There was healing for my inner hurts in the quietness of the woods and fields. There was a consolation for my spirit in the wild glory of grass and birds.”

Great Egret fishing behind my office in Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

When the phone rings off the hook and workplace stress builds, I too need some “wild glory.” And thankfully, the Creator sends it! Each year in late July, a Great Egret returns to the pond behind my office in Georgia. And right on schedule, I saw him out there fishing this week. Standing still and erect, his head cocked to peer into the shimmering water under his long legs, he slowly coils his long neck to finally unleash a quick thrust for a small minnow or larger bream. His appearance isn’t just on schedule with the calendar, but on schedule with my need for some calming from this hectic life.

What soothing; what peace; what intimacy with the Savior can be achieved just by beholding the creation of God! The psychologists can keep their prescriptions. I’ll dose myself with Wild Glory!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Satisfying Shallows and Delightful Depths

“He led me through water to the ankles…, he led me through water to the knees…, he led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass over.” Ezekiel 47:1-5

Bonaparte`s Gulls frolicking in ocean surf, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. March 2019. ©www.williamwisephoto.com

Birdwatching. Birding. Ornithology. In most minds, those three terms conjure differing depths of avian appreciation. Bird enthusiasm ranges from the simple enjoyment of backyard birds, to submerging in state lists and big years, and even deeper into the intellectual fathoms of anatomy and natural history. The books upon the shelf range from Your Backyard Feeder to Latin Terms for Taxonomists.

In the same manner, the Bible is book of unending fathomage. From inspiring daily devotionals, to word studies and commentaries, and into the depths of theology, the Sacred Writ can be enjoyed and experienced on so many different levels.

Stack of Antique New Testament Bibles. ©www.williamwisephoto.com

But is one level of devotee better than another? Is the ornithologist more serious or dedicated than a birder? Is the theologian more important than the lay congregant? Are we only dipping in our toes when we should be swimming deeper? Are we drowning in the depths and neglecting the satisfaction of the shallows?

In reality, one can be all things, or be what one desires! In his chapter of Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White, David A. La Puma writes, “Find out what you love about birds and dive in; the pool of knowledge is deep and rich and full of others happy to help you along the way.” An ornithologist can still enjoy birdwatching just as a theologian should still delight in daily devotionals.

Our Christian life and experience, just like birding, should enjoy the shallows, wade into the depths, dive the deep ocean trenches, and swim back again. Just as you would enjoy cardinals and chickadees at your backyard feeder, or decide to tackle identifying the gulls, sparrows and peeps, enjoy your yearly reading plan through the New Testament and Psalms, and simultaneously sound the depths of Biblical wisdom and application. Find out what you love about the Word of God in this season of life and dive in. The only wrong thing to do is to completely dry up!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

We Watch Birds, Yet We Too Are Being Watched!

We watch birds,  yet we too are being watched!

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

BAW-1stCorinthians4.9

This is a blog-site about birdwatching.  Yet don’t forget that we ourselves are being watched, so be on your best behavior!  (Consider 1st Corinthians 4:9, quoted above.)

Once I watched a hummingbird, displaying its marvelous metabolism, that busily slurped nectar from trumpet vines that grow upon my backyard’s fence.  The hovering, buzzing, flitting, iridescent-sparkling hummingbird was too busy to notice me!

Yet, come to think of it, there are times when I am so busy that I don’t notice others watching me — and sometimes (according to 1st Corinthians 4:9) even angels are watching.   All the more reason to be on my best behavior.

However, even if only God is watching, that’s the best reason for doing what is right, to honor Him  (1st Corinthians 10:31).

BAW-hummingbirds-are-watched

Meanwhile, enjoy watching the birds!  May God bless your new year:  the year of our Lord 2020.  This year is God’s gift  —  let’s walk through it reverently and appreciatively.

BAW-birds-are-fun-to-watch


 

Where Are You From? Part II

Replica of Mayflower in Plymouth, Massachusetts ©WikiC

In Where Are You From? [Part I], the birds and my ancestry were both mentioned. Since we have not done much birdwatching lately other than through my window, my time has been spent looking for my ancestors.

Of course, since Creation is how God created the birds and humans, there are no birds in my Ancestorial Tree!! That is a given. I do have a Buzzard [Catherine] listed in Dan’s tree. A Hawk [Susannah] in my tree, and that is about it. The rest are normal human names.

Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) chicks ©USFWS

What is so amazing is how many people [my ancestors] that it took for me to come into existence. If anyone of them had died before they had the child that would be my ancestor was born, I wouldn’t be writing this article. That thought is awesome. God is so merciful and sovereign in His dealings with us. What Grace!

Today I found another ancestor who was on the Mayflower. This one really came close to not making it. This article explains how he fell overboard on the voyage to America: Meet John Howland, a lucky Pilgrim who populated America with 2 million descendants. Here is another interesting article about him on Wikipedia.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,” (Ephesians 2:4 NKJV)

The birds we watch today also come from their ancestors. Had one group died out, as they have, then that branch of birds is extinct. As beautiful as the birds are today, what would they be like had those not become extinct? Interesting thought.

Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) Extinct by Wikipedia

Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) Extinct by Wikipedia

The children today who are prevented from being born would have had many descendants in the future. A quote from the article above:

“Howland and his eventual wife, fellow Mayflower passenger Elizabeth Tilley, had 10 children and more than 80 grandchildren. Now, an estimated 2 million Americans can trace their roots to him.

Howland’s direct descendants include three presidents — Franklin Roosevelt, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — as well as former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin; poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; actors Alec Baldwin, Humphrey Bogart, and Christopher Lloyd; Mormon church founder Joseph Smith; and child care guru Dr Benjamin Spock.

“The idea that the existence of all these people hinged on that one guy grabbing a rope in the ocean and holding on tight totally caught my imagination,”

The rope with the

The rope with the “Chatterbox” aboard. [Great nephew]

“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,” (1 Corinthians 1:4 NKJV)

**Updated**

See Where Are You From? II – Corrected

Teaching God’s Creatorship to Kids

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

SnowGeese-in-field.Trent

SNOW GEESE at Hagerman N.W.R.   (photo by Trent)

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.   (Deuteronomy 6:7)

USING  RECREATION  TO  TEACH  GOD’S  CREATIONSHIP  TO  KIDS

Kids grow with imagination,

Kids learn, too, with recreation;

Moth to watch, ducks to feed,

Songs to sing, books to read

So teach kids about creation!

And, in the process of teaching kids about creation, teach them about God’s Creatorship.

Unless the process is “boring”, most kids like to learn.  Furthermore, most young children love to learn about animals — especially mammals and birds.

Child-feeding-ducks.DailyExpress

child feeding ducks (Daily Express photo)

Introducing a young child to birdwatching, therefore, can be one of the most wonderful favors one can do for such a child.  In fact, teaching a child about God’s Creatorship is one of the best “inheritances” that a parent — or a grandparent (or a family friend) — can bestow to a child (Proverbs 13:22).

Birds-Zim.Golden-Guides-series-1956

For an example of a child being introduced to birdwatching, see “Attracted to Genesis by Magnets and a Bird Book“, posted at  http://www.icr.org/article/attracted-genesis-by-magnets-bird-book — and its uncondensed version at “Appreciating Baltimore Orioles and my First Bird Book“, posted at  https://leesbird.com/2015/06/02/appreciating-baltimore-orioles-and-my-first-bird-book/ .    (See alsoSnow Goose, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, and More“.)