Oh, well. It got me out of the house, anyhow. I haven't been birding in weeks, beyond glancing into the backyard occasionally. There are worse fates than a morning spent birding at Duke Gardens, even if it's all yellowthroats and vireos.
Also, check out the SINGLE GREATEST LANDSCAPING USE OF PINK MUHLY GRASS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD:
I mean, I grow this stuff, and this never occurred to me. (I don't have a slope like that, mind you...) It's a clumping native grass with pink seed heads, grows about two feet tall, gets a pretty good spread. Never ever seen it used like that.
Then I stopped at the Botanical Garden on the way home, and there went the rest of the morning. Did you know there is a plant called "Farkleberry"?! (Okay, it's been rebranded as "Sparkleberry" and is a native holly, but seriously, that used to be "Farkleberry." The little tag informed me solemnly that not even google knew the origins of "farkle.")
So that was my morning. Didn't suck, even with the not-actually-wild goose chase.