© Bert & Shari Frenz, 2005 All rights reserved.

(Bert) Bill drops by R-Tent-III, carrying his tenor ukulele and a song sheet. He’s composed new lyrics to the tune of an old Titanic ditty that he learned in college. When he sings it to Shari and me, it nicely summarizes the past few weeks, a point I’ll get to in just a minute. As usual, I’ve tabulated our many sightings and, in fact, documented 1540 bird sightings and 89 mammal sightings. Our final mammal list came to 27 species and the bird species count reached 230 species, both totals far exceeding my expectations. The Manitoba Bird Checklist, revised November 2000, lists 380 confirmed species, of which 295 occur regularly. By that account we’ve seen 78% of the regularly occurring species. Personally, the only regularly occurring species that I don’t have my life list are Ross’s Gull and King Eider. Which gets me to the point of Bill’s song. The chorus starts, “Oh, we went away a birdin’ on a long and lonely road, no matter where we looked, that bird, he never showed.” The lyrics continue to trace our route through Manitoba, increasing my curiosity at what is “that bird, he never showed.” Finally, the fifth verse gives us the answer: “Now, what can that bird be that eluded us so long. Well you know what? It’s different for everyone, so we keep on searching just to find that special one, and hope we never find it, ‘cause that will end the fun!”

Appendix A  Table of Contents