An Amateur Birdwatcher's tally
It was just a cold. But what an awful code was it! For a week I ached, slept, coughed, hacked, was hot and cold, and only moved with tremendous effort. My foggy eyes couldn’t even see out the window. I did not step outside once. No dreams pierced my broken slumber. This avid bird watcher didn’t see a single bird in days.
Finally, my wracking cough eased just a little, with the help of medicines and cough drops. My temperatures seemed to steady. Once could almost say I showed a hint of energy – but just a tad. I was not ready to go out and bird watch yet.
So, I geared up my strength and stepped into my yard, where the sun hit my face for the first time in a long while. I blinked. It was just a little bit of sun on a cloudy day. But it was far brighter than my sick room. I sighed and pulled my jacket close. Then I filled my bird feeders. I set out suet, a thistle sack, and regular food. Everything was empty, or near empty. I filled it all. I returned to my room and promptly fell asleep for 2 hours.
When I woke, my chair was facing the window. A pair of black capped chickadees started at the thistle and moved to a feeder. I smiled. Dee-dees are so cute. They were making happy calls. Four finches attacked the thistle. Beautiful. My neck lifted a little and my eyes blinked to be able to see better. A starling landed on the suet basket. “Darlin Starlin.” I muttered in my raspy throat before coughing some. Meanwhile a white crowned sparrow hopped under another feeder, which was staffed by a song sparrow, a house sparrow and a chestnut backed chickadee. I dozed.
When I woke two song sparrows were at a feeder. The finches were still on their sack. A flicker had taken over the suet. Two doves and a junco were hopping on the ground. Another sparrow was in the bird bath. It felt as though I had an aviary. I have never kept pet birds – not a good idea with my cats. But in this moment my heart swelled as I watched “my” birds at feast.
I guess I’m getting better. But staying at home and birding was as much fun, almost, as walking in the park with the dogs while birding. Maggie certainly enjoyed a morning of drowsing and cookies. But not for Katie. She went to the dog park and had a blast with her mom, my sister. I saw more birds from my window, though.
Instead of posting this weeks pics in the gallery, I'm making a brief video on Facebook. Enjoy.
After a great start in November, birding settled down for me a bit. There were joyous moments in my yard, mostly at the feeder. I did my normal day off birding expeditions. Have you noticed something about my bird watching? I do a lot of it sitting or traveling in a car. I call it drive by birding. It’s lazy, but it works for me.
Once a week my dogs, my sister, and I go for a walk in the park which is not like the daily walks of strolling down the sidewalks of our neighborhood. We go to somewhere in a car and then walk. They sniff and trot and greet other dogs and people. We bird watch.
On our drive to Flaming Geyser Park this week we saw a pair of turkey vultures. They are big, messy birds. But I like them. It was fun to get 3 good pictures of them. I don’t see buzzards often. On the same trip we saw 4 eagles and 2 hawks, one of them a redtail. That season is coming – raptor time. January is a great month to see hawks and eagles.
Then, at the park we saw Virginia rails. I’ve never identified them before, nor gadwalls, which were also in the marsh. A blue heron reposed nearby. He was a handsome fellow. So was an eagle, majestic though far away in my camera.
My own yard was bursting all week with chickadees (black capped and chestnut backed), sparrows (house, white crowned, and song), finches (house and goldfinches), towhees, juncos, starlings, flickers, and a dove. My telework stint came to an end, so I have to bird watch on my days off until the daylight comes back before and past working hours.
November was an impressive birding month in King County, Washington. It makes me look forward to December!
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!