House Wren

Contador, Hoban, Finches and Twitchers

When American L. Armstrong and Spaniard Alberto C. were on the same team together (remember that? 2009?) it was popular to criticize the “Pistolero’s” every move. Of course, the older, more experienced Armstrong was the Patron despite not having worn yellow the entire race (however, I do recall that he has worn yellow a few times in the past). So when Mr. Armstrong coolly suggested that Alberto was not following the plan, I was one of the many who said, “Yeah Bert, you got to stick to the plan!” Even though not sticking to the plan did nothing to hurt Alberto’s position in the race and as you may also remember, his overall victory that year. If Lance had taken off on a break, and succeeded, that would not have been seen as a rookie move. My point is this: Maybe we are a bit hard on Contador? He is the best there is at the moment. It is easy to hate the best – think Bruce Jenner for example. Contador did have that run in with either low quality French steak or high quality drugs. But who hasn’t?

All this is to say that this year, for the time being, I am a Contador fan. As an aside, Alberto Contador raises Goldfinches and Canaries. Those of you who know me, both of you, know that when it comes to birds, they are never an “aside” for me. All other subjects are simply a way of getting to birds. The following sentence is a personal message the Grand Tour specialist/aviarist: I would happily accept an invitation to visit your home, interview you about cycling and birds, and why not, maybe go for a ride.

This year I will also be rooting for Barry Hoban, British sprinter, Mercier-Hutchinson-BP team member, and winner of eight Tour de France stages. Oh, also avid hill walker and twitcher. In the states we would call him “hiker and birder.” But Mr. Hoban lives in Wales and hails from Wakefield, West Yorkshire in England so I will stick with the British tems. Barry, if you have read this far you have no doubt anticipated the following request: Would you do me the honor of allowing me to visit your home, walk the hills of Wales and look for Welsh birds – by “birds” I do not refer to Welsh birds like Catherine Zeta Jones – with you?

Below, please find my amateur attempts at bird photography. I started with domestic birds, for obvious reasons, and worked my way to wild birds. The porcupine is an example of what I photograph while waiting for birds.