An Amateur Birdwatcher's tally
He was a sweet faced greeter, though a raptor bird. The sign was perfect for him to rest on. I loved him immediately.
The rough legged hawk posed well. We took multiple pictures of him. Then we went on through. It wasn’t surprising that there were no other birds hanging out at that end of the park. Near the main parking area, however, we saw a single Mallard duck, a contradiction of normalcy. Mallard males almost always have company. His ladies must have been off on a girls morning out. There were no red winged blackbirds among the reeds. But we did see a robin.
Maggie and I wandered in one direction, Katie and her mom wandered toward the river. As we approached the swamp I got excited. A bird! On the cat tails sticking out of the marsh!
Maggie and I did our usual wrestle over stopping and pointing the camera. I won, and snapped a shot. Then I had a thought. The bird had not moved at all. Was it actually a bird? Or a fake? My enthusiasm dimmed. What I thought was a bird was actually a cattail. “Maggie, we tussled over a fool’s errand.” In her favor, my dog was not smug.
The sound of the kingfisher carried over from the river. I did not see him, but I heard him. Then the rain came. It was a real downpour. In less than 400 steps we were both sopping wet. The birding walk ended early. Katie and her mom rushed along as we climbed into the car. As we left the park, the rain stopped.
On the way home we saw an odd duck in a field. It was so interesting we turned around and went back for a better look. An oncoming car caused us to pull over to a rare stopping point for us. In a period of 5 minutes we saw blue jays, flickers, chickadees, juncos, and sparrows! All of them were in one yard! When we reluctantly pulled back into the street (before the residents could come out and start charging rent!) we slowly passed the spot where the duck was. It was a mallard, as far as we could determine. But he gave us a chance to view a lot of birds!
Our weekend birding jaunt ended happily as we pulled into our yard filled with juncos and sparrows and our very loud scrub jays. As usual, our bird watching took about 2 hours, filled with a lot of fun. Days like this keep me coming back for more.
I love birdwatching. It's relaxing and fun. Even though I've been birding for over 10 years I classify myself as an amateur birder. I plan to write a blog each month about my experiences. Hope you enjoy them!