Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Field + Fence = Lazy Summer Birdwatching

I've heard quite a few birders say that they take a break from actively birding in the summer. They get a hangover from all that Spring migrant action and don't want to deal with summer birding conditions which includes too much heat, too many bugs, and too much foliage blocking the view. 

I don't quit birding in the summer but I'm much more laid back in the way I approach things. Recently I was just driving around looking for some sort of birding opportunity and found a weedy field with a wire fence around it.
I sat in my car and watched as goldfinches,Song Sparrows, and other birds alternated between picking away at weeds and then perching on the conveniently located fence.
 When I grew tired of watching birds on the fence I drove to the next field and waited for Red-winged Blackbirds to pop up on the light posts next to the fairgrounds.
 My biggest effort came when I actually got out of my car and walked 100 feet up along a local powerline path where birds were busy nesting. Towhees like this one occasionally hopped on top of shrubs to sing.
Blue-winged Warblers were a little sneakier but they usually landed on nearby branches before going back to the nest.

One of the toughest parts of summer birding is actually being able to see the birds with all the leaves and vines blocking your view. Sometimes its just easier to find a spot where you know birds will eventually come into view instead of trying to outsmart them by crawling on your hands and knees through some poison ivy patch. 
I'll continue to look for the laziest birding opportunities  possible this summer. In fact, I'm not even going to spellcheck this post.


Michelle said...

I always like seeing the red winged blackbirds in the summer. Easiest ones for me to spot.

Kathie Brown said...

Larry, you always crack me up! You found your birds, though, and got some great pics!