Sunday, April 23, 2023

Bike Path Birds That Won't Be Ignored!

 Riding a bike can be a nice way to change up your birding pace. You can cover a lot of ground quickly and as soon as you see bird activity you can just stop and get off the bike for a while. I think birds are less spooked by a bicyclist than they are by a pedestrian too. You kind of sneak up on them silently and quickly.

 I'm old school when it comes to biking. You're not going to convince me that riding in traffic is safer than riding on a sidewalk. Bicycle versus car-the bike loses every time. I don't mind slowing down to a walking pace where there are potential obstacles. If I see a pedestrian I am more than happy to hop off the bike and walk it until the pedestrian passes. Still, a path specifically designed for biking is better than a sidewalk.This time of year you can come across migrant birds even on a well-manicured city path. The House Wren has a bubbly song that it repeats constantly. Another noisy bird that is here throughout the year is the Northern Mockingbird. They're always busy singing multiple songs or staring you down as they go about conspicuously gathering food.

They are two examples of birds that refuse to be ignored!

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Warblers Trickling In

I've been spending most of my birding time around local rivers, streams, and ponds like this one. It seems that Canada Geese like to nest on top of beaver huts. Seeing just one family of Canada Geese in a small pond seems more appealing than a city pond that is overrun by dozens of messy geese.
I'm starting to notice that some of the winter species of ducks have departed and there is more activity in the surrounding woods. The early warblers, like this Palm Warbler are slowly starting to trickle in. Soon the trees will be dripping with them. 

The Palm Warblers often hop around trees and bushes that are near ground level making it easier to follow them around than some of the other warbler species.

Some of the warblers insist on staying near the tops of trees which can lead to a bad case of what they call warbler-neck. If you spend a few hours looking up into the tops of trees with binoculars  you will know exactly what that means!

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Many Birds Love Flooded Fields

Every March when all the ice has melted the Portland Fairgrounds attracts a nice variety of birds.
There are many different types of ducks but the Northern Shoveler with its long shovel-like bill is one of the most sought after ones.
A variety of shorebirds are likely such as the Wilson's Snipe and birds like Killdeer and yellowlegs seen here (except for the one yellowlegs taking a bath in the background).

This is generally the last big local birding excitement that takes place until the warblers start arriving some time in April. Then it becomes  an all you can bird buffet frenzy!