Friday, September 11, 2020

Birds Like A Gallunile Don't Come Along Often

I was kind of excited when I read on e-bird that there was a species of bird called the Common Gallunile reported in my area that I had not seen before. When you've been birdwatching for a number of years you don't often see life birds in your immediate area.

I went out to preserved area that was mostly made up of overgrown habitat that was once the site of a Golf Course called Pistol Creek. There was a split pea soup looking pond not far from that site.

I spent some time checking in all the nooks and crannies of all the broken sticks. There was lots of Wood Ducks, a Sora and then finally...
a Common Gallunile which is a lifer for me right in my own county. Those don't come along too often! 
 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Paths Can Lead To Another World

It sometimes amazes me how our perception of the world can change so dramatically just by taking a short walk along a nature trail.  
This trail is a small section of what once supposed to be a trolley track. The tree-lined path leads you through woodland surrounded by marshy habitat. 
Shortly after I entered the trail I noticed how quiet it became. I could hear dewdrops falling from the trees and the sound of fluttering  wings as birds flew from one side to the other was so amplified that you would think it was being played through stereo speakers. The drone of insects buzzing combined with the sound of my own breathing made for a hypnotic effect. My senses became hypersensitive to every sight, sound, and smell. 
This area is also the site of a former mink farm.
A pile of twisted cages still remains as evidence of its existence from years ago.
( photo from previous trip)
I also saw many birds during the morning. I moved along at such a slow, relaxed pace, letting my senses do the work instead of stalking birds like a Paparazzi. 

 My favorite sighting was probably that of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I really enjoyed the banditry of chickadees conversing from strategic locations along the way while nuthatches chimed in with their nasal calls. I observed about 20 other species as well, but on this morning, it wasn't about what birds I saw or how many. For a brief period of time, I was able to step out of my world to become part of theirs and it's hard to top that.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Is Nature Too Slow Or Are We Too Impatient?

Back in the 70's there was no cable television, cell phones, or video games. As kids we had to find creative ways to entertain ourselves. I remember when this bridge was abandoned as a new stretch of highway replaced an old road. We used to walk out there just for something to do.
Surprised to find it still there, I decided to visit the area and bring my binoculars with me to see if I could find any birds around. This old place didn't seem to have the same mystique and aura that I remembered. After 15 minutes of seeing little more than a Mourning dove and a starling, I started to become impatient.
I was almost ready to leave but decided to stay a little longer to see if I could detect any shadows from the past. That was when two raccoons quietly emerged from the brush to look for food along the river bank.
Shortly after that a muskrat swam out to the middle of the river.
A flicker popped his head up from a broken tree trunk.
....and a kingfisher belted out a loud rattle as it landed on a dead branch.

Nature moves at it's own pace that we have no control over.
In this day and age we are constantly bombarded by changing news, and an overwhelming number of digital entertainment choices it is more difficult to slow ourselves down enough to allow nature to catch up and reveal its secrets to us. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Non-Resident Parking Just $75!

 I took a ride down to the shore hoping to find a particular species of bird at a particular town beach.I found the non-resident parking fee a bit steep at $75 and decided to turn around and head off in another direction. I'm thinking they wanted to keep out of towners out of town.
 So I looked around the area and found a crow. I didn't hear it but since I was down by the shore it may have been a fish crow.
 There is no shortage of Osprey down at the shoreline.
I headed back to my home town where there was a Great Egret walking the shores of an old factory pond right off the main drag.
There were also Canada Geese which don't thrill most birders unless there is a huge flock from which to look for rarities. I thought they looked nice in the mid-day sun.

Maybe I should have stayed in town. At least the parking was free!