Sunday, June 26, 2011

Biking, & Birds With A Bad Reputation

     I had a couple of old bikes that had been sitting around for years collecting dust. I decided to bring them to a local bike shop to see if I could get a few bucks for them but instead, I ended up walking out with a new bike. I hadn't ridden a bike since I became spoiled by the ease and comfort of driving my first car. I wasn't concerned with exercise or high gas prices in those days but times have changed.

  My free time for birding has been limited this month but I've been able to maximize this time by using the bike for short, local trips. The top photo was taken along the East Hampton portion of the rail trail. I was hoping to capture a nice photo of a Black-throated Green Warbler there. They hang out in the evergreens that border the edge of the trail. I had a good opportunity when a BT-Green landed on a branch in plain view. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that I was in auto mode and was trying to manual focus so I missed my chance. I'm still trying to figure out how to coordinate the use of my binoculars and camera while riding a bike. On the plus side, it only took me 10 minutes to bike out there instead of the hour it would have taken if I had to walk the trail.

      I took this photo of a male Brown-headed Cowbird over near the Rocky Hill Ferry. The cowbird has a bad reputation because they lay their eggs in the nests of other species and let them raise their young. 
  
I also found this male House Sparrow making itself at home on a pier near the launch site of the ferry. Many birders don't like the House Sparrow because it isn't a native species and they often take over nesting sites of other native species such as the Eastern Bluebird. If the House Sparrow is still in The United States a thousand years from now will they finally be forgiven for being introduced here?
  I found this Black Vulture munching on some raccoon jerky along route 66 in Portland. Some may look at vultures as harbingers of death but they provide a valuable service by cleaning up roadkill free of charge!

10 comments:

Chris said...

I did not know that birding and biking could give a so good result ;-) Well done Larry and I love the last shot ;-)

Ruth said...

We have many interesting linear trails around here and a bike is the best way to do a return trip. Good for you for getting the exercise and saving gas. I had to chuckle at the mental image of your comment "I'm still trying to figure out how to coordinate the use of my binoculars and camera while riding a bike"

MaineBirder said...

Great post and photos Larry!

Hilke Breder said...

Enjoyed your post! You know that in Germany they tried to train Turkey Vultures to locate missing people - dead ones of course. But the vulture were not interested in people. They prefer animals.

Larry said...

Chris-Thanks Chris-it's always fun to try new things.

Ruth-It can be a bit awkward for sure.I'll have to work on it.-Saving gas is a priority these days.I stopped reading the rare bird report so I wouldn't be tempted to drive around looking for rare birds.

Thanks Mainebirder

Hilke Breder-Interesting idea-too bad it didn't work.

Jen said...

Awesome shots! I just started biking and birding as well (today in fact) and I love it. Congrats on the new bike!

steadyjohn said...

Hi Larry! I bought a bike 3 years ago and used to ride frequently. This year though I haven't been on it at all. Speaking of coordinating biking with camera work I found a similar problem but not with my bike. My daughter gave me a very nice Irish walking stick for Christmas.Trouble is every time I encounter a photo op I first have to find a resting place for my stick and, more than once, I have forgotten to pick it up again and have to retrace my steps to find it.

Larry said...

Jen-thanks-adds another dimension to a great hobby.

John-Can you use your walking stick as a monopod?

Kathiesbirds said...

Larry, I love your sense of humor!

Bob said...
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