The Golden Plover, a sight to behold by bird lovers in Iceland, is lip-smacking dinner to the cat.
The day began with me at my computer answering messages, and writing my blog, all the while Siggi, on his computer, would look outside to see yet another bird, who has made its way up north. He started putting his bird photos on the website that will be launched in a few days, www.birds.iniceland.com. He is blessed with an ‘artists eye’ in photography.
“Look, there’s a Golden Plover,” he would say. Or, “look! there’s the Oyster Catcher, or, “Laureen, listen. hear it? That’
s the Great Northern Loon.”
Man, oh, man, bird watchers get excited.
Then, “Look what’s out there?” I thought oh, yeah, another bird.
“Hey, that’s the Italian I met the other day,” I announced as he walked up to the door carrying equipment on his back almost as big as he.
He wanted to know if there was any room in the hotel, as he was so tired. Siggi told him no, but he was welcome to sleep on the couch..for no charge. He also wanted to take a shower, and that, too, was granted.
The next event, while the Italian was in the shower has two different versions, and I’ll go with mine first:
When I went downstairs to my room. What did I see? A Golden Plover scurrying, desperate to make a get-away from the cat, who brought it into the room via the window.
“Siggi, you’ve got to come and see this,” I shouted. One time a big bumble bee flew around between the curtain and the window, so I expected him to be ready for something like that.
Oh, no, the bird was now in the hallway, and then ran back into the room fluttering his wings, and fleeing under the second bed in the room, wings flapping like wind sails. Siggi tried to catch the cat and made a Bobby Crocker-like, baseball slide to home base as he slid under the other bed reaching for the cat.
He got the cat outside, and he picked up the bird and got it settled in the palm of his hand.
Okay here’s Siggi’s version of what happened: “I knew the Italian was taking a shower, and you exclaimed,’oh, wow,’ and I thought it sounded like you were pleasantly surprised; she’s caught the Italian in the shower, I was thinking. I thought I might just check it out and then that’s when I saw the bird and dove for the cat.”
After Siggi got the cat outside and the bird settled in his hand, he told me to keep the cat inside my room, so I waited until the culprit came back in through the window. I closed up the cat inside her prison. Siggi was petting the birds feathers, keeping it calm, while waiting to ensure the cat was locked in before freeing the bird.
We waited for the Italian to come out of the shower so he could witness the birds’ escape to its own environment.
About an hour later, and many photos were taken, the bird was no longer stressed, it was time to release it.
We stood outside in the cold wind, while Siggi held the bird high in the air, and we all bid it farewell.
We heard a ‘beep’ and observed its mate joining it on the ground. Together, they literally walked off together into the red-orange sunset.
Okay, you may think this is the end of the story, but it isn’t. Not too long after the bird was released, two young German ladies came to the door, hopefully, for a place to sleep one night. Same story; no room in the inn, but you can come in a sleep on the floor, Siggi told them.
The ladies were pleased with the offer and slept on mattresses Siggi brought up from the basement.
Otherwise they would have had to sleep in the car. It’s too cold for that.
The German’s left the next day for hiking in the northeast side of Iceland, and the Italian would catch a bus in the afternoon, heading back to Reykjavik.
I will always remember the “Night of the Golden Plover.”