An Amateur Birdwatcher's tally
“Kestrel.” We said together, eyeing the bird on the wire. It flew away, but not far. I refocused my camera. My sister refocused her binoculars. The bird was on a dumpster in Flaming Geyser park. He had his back to us. “Pretty.” I breathed. He was red.
“I don’t think he’s a falcon.” My sister said, straining to see through the binoculars. I was busy snapping photos. “No, maybe he’s a hawk. What’s the other one?” “A pigeon. No, a dove.” She announced. Bizarre. A dove resting near a hawk? The hawk flew up to the wire where the dove sat.
Silence in the car. A tiny bit of fear of what we would see next enveloped us. The hawk landed on the wire beside the pigeon. They – not kissed but leaned forward and did a little birdie hello. We glanced at each other. “Huh?” Clearly, this was not a hawk. We pulled out the Sibleys.
Still unconvinced, we looked first in the raptors section. But nothing matched our bird. The page to pigeons fell open. “There it is.” It was a brown rock dove. Hanging out with a pied rock dove. In over 10 years I have never identified brown rock doves. I didn’t know they even existed. I know about them now.
The brown rock dove wasn’t my only new bird in July 2019. I also saw a western wood pe-wee. It was also in Flaming Geyser Park. At first, I saw it bathing in the river. I was awestruck. This was different, a grey bird the size of a robin. Maggie let me take several pictures, though she was bored. This was her dog walk, and she wanted to walk!
Later I saw the western wood pe-wee in the marsh area of the park. I showed it to my sister, who is my fellow bird watcher. She couldn’t identify it either. I used Whatabird to look it up later.
My chipping sparrows moved on, so my rental property is empty. The next-door finches are still hanging around and the hummer shows up randomly. I keep the feeder fresh for him.
So, the birding adventures stay exciting through the first week of July. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
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!