I was sitting down to write this post late one night when I heard a strange noise outside my window. I peered out into the night to see a large blue Public Telephone Box sitting in my driveway, you know the kind that you see in all the tourism photos of London.
Out stepped this peculiar man, dressed strangely and speaking in a light Scottish accent.
“Ah, Will it’s good to finally meet you!” he said. Taken back, it took me a moment to respond.
“And who might you be?” I said thinking it was someone I went to High School with and don’t remember.
“I’m the Doctor”
“Exactly!” He then walked straight through the door and into my living room. “Oh my.” He said suddenly.
“Um, what?” I asked, not sure if I should be calling the police.
“You’re working on I and the Bird #58!” he replied excitedly. “This one is my favorite!”
“Hang on.” I paused for dramatic effect. “How can this one be your favorite, I haven’t written it yet!”
“Hmmm?” He replied deep in thought looking at the computer screen. “Oh, didn’t I tell you I”m a time traveller? So I’ve been to the future, read the post and loved it.” he said. “But this isn’t the finished product yet is it? You got some wrong information here, but no worries, follow me and we will get it straightened out!”
And like that he bounded out of the living room and into his blue box. A few moments later he stuck his head out and asked me, “Are you coming or what?”
Skeptically I headed towards the blue box, everything in my body told me to run, but I was curious by now. I was amazed, it was much bigger on the inside than the small box it looked like from the outside!
“Wow!” I said aloud.
“Yes, and it’s only the first floor!”
With that the box suddenly and violently, rocked and shook. A few seconds later it stopped. “Are we making martinis’ or was that a time travel effect?”
“Ah, there we are.” Said the Doctor, pushing some more buttons and pulling a few knobs. A large TV screen appeared out of now where and the Doctor took a seat in a leather recliner and motioned to me to sit down next to him.
“Where are we?” I asked him. “What? No. We went into Cyber Space, I want to show you some of my favorite birding blog posts, so that you can be sure to include them in your I and the Bird!” He looked off into space for a moment and muttered to himself “Maybe that’s why I liked this one so much!”
He pulled out this screwdriver looking thing (He told me it was a sonic screwdriver, the Swiss Army Knife of Time Lords) and brought up the first site.
“The First one, is The Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds Inc. You should really be writing all this down.” he said tossing me a pen and note pad. He continued “They did a wonderful post on the studies ongoing with Flammulated Owls! I just love pictures of baby owls, plus it sounds dirty!”
He pressed a button on his screw driver.
“Here we have a few sites. The first is from Trying to Catch Up , who shares some really great pictures of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Next we have The Greenbelt and a very simple yet, highly artistic post entitled Tree Full of Birds. This next one…” His voice trailed off, tears welling up in his eyes.
“I had forgotten about this.” he said to me, blowing his nose. “Greg at Evolution shares my sense of sorrow in his report on the death of Alex the African Gray Parrot. By the way did I mention that I was great friends with Alex? Ah good times debating Thoreau . . . Then there is another one of my good friends Grrl Scientist, who wrote from Living the Scientific Life about the Legacy of Alex the Gray Africa Parrot.”
“Moving on we have Beverly from Murmuring Trees whose post Panting in the Heat continues to prove the case that no one should live below the 40th parallel.”
“Now this next one is just amazing!” The Doctor told me, a child like glint of excitement in his eye. “Madhusadan at Reconciliation Ecology wrote about the amazing flight of a Bar-Tailed Godwit which flew over 11,000 KM from Alaska to New Zealand without stopping (and boy are her wings tired!). Chet at Earth House Hold tells a charming story about one of his favorite birds, the Lewis’ Woodpecker.”
At this point the TV began to blink and go out. The Doctor stood up and hit it hard a few times on-top, adjusted the antennae, muttering some curses at it before the picture finally came back in.
“That’s better!” He said. “Now here are some more!”
“Ah.” He said, “Here’s one from your neck of the woods I think. Have you ever met the Famous Rich Guthrie or looked at his Birding Blog?”
“Yeah I replied, what do you mean famous?”
“Oh you’ll see! Then you must agree that his post about Spudworm Warblers was excellent?”
“Of course, never a dull moment with him.” I replied.
He paused again, put his glasses on and looked at the blank screen.
“What are you looking at?” I asked.
“What is its name?” I asked worried.
“10,000 Birds.” He replied. “I mean look at this, they are no doubt trying to put out some sort of subtle code for their forces to rise up and invade the Earth! Look at this post by “Charlie” about the birds of Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv. No doubt some sort of staging area. But, we will deal with that when it comes! Back to the birdies!”
“Ah, here is Trevor from Trevor’s Birding who was on the road to do some birding and to vist some friends and family, while letting the Mrs. Trevor take photos of plants.” The Doctor paused. “Australians have all the fun, and that Mrs. Trevor is quite the Botantist!” he added. “Next is Nathan at the Drinking Bird who went sailing away for fresh fish and life birds. Greg from Conservation Conversations has fun with puns as he stalked Bitterns and other marsh birds.”
“Doctor.” I interrupted him, trying to change the subject. “What is this space ship or time machine?” I asked giving my hand a break from writing down all the blog information.
“Ah good question. You are in the Tardis! Rather handy little craft, if I might say so myself. Not something you are going to find at your local Hummer dealer now is it.” He paused. “I think that just about does it for blogs.” he said, his voice trailing off.
“No!” I responded. “There are a few more!” I said as I fumbled for my e-mail print outs. “I can’t leave out John from A DC Birding Blog otherwise his search for Warblers at Noon and Rails at Dusk would have been for nothing! Or the Birdfreak team report on the Midwest Birding Symposium!” I paused to catch my breath. The Doctor looked at me with raised eyebrows.
Suddenly the Tardis shook violently throwing me and the good Doctor to the floor. Smoke and sparks flew out of the console. Suddenly an eerie voice spoke, though we didn’t see any one.
“You forgot one.” The Voice said.
“Who are you?” asked the Doctor.
“I know that.” he replied, “But, who ARE you?”
But silence filled the room. On the console some ticker tape printed out and the Doctor stood up and read aloud the print out.
“I guess that’s it.” I said.
“Yes.” the doctor replied. With a few twists of knobs on the console he announced. “You’re home.”
I shuffled my way to the door. “Thanks I replied, you really opened my eyes to all the really great bird blogs out there and I can’t help but wonder how many more there are out there.”
“Many.” He replied. “Perhaps and infinite amount.” He paused. “You want to see some more?”
“Sure!” I replied.
“Then come on grab a seat over here. Our next one is actually in the future with I and the Bird # 59 which will be hosted by the Naturalist Notebook and believe me it was great! Do you want to see…”