An Amateur Birdwatcher's tally
I never expect much in August while bird watching. The Canada geese, ducks, and many other birds take a break from King County, Washington. I miss them.
To start the month of August I saw chickadees, chipping and house sparrows, juncos, finches, and scrub jays at my feeders. They like the bird bath I set out and the sprinklers I run once a week as well as the food.
I saw a humming bird twice, which was a delight. It caused me to mix up a fresh batch of hummer food (1/4 part sugar with water.) Humming birds are regular but not constant garden companions so they please me when I see them hovering. But I was amazed to see my most recent little lady perched on a wire! They always seem to be in motion but she was still for almost 2 minutes!
On the second Sunday of the month I visited my favorite bird watching park, Flaming Geyser state park. I love the drive as much as the walk at the end – with my dogs, Katie and Maggie. Starlings and swallows are gathering, probably to exit the area soon. They are currently taking over farm country. I can understand why farmers don’t like them –they can be nuisance birds like pigeons in the city. But starlings have sweet voices and they’re so energetic I have to like them. Pigeons are wonderful to take pictures of and I can’t imagine a city scape without them.
At the park we were stumped by a bird. He was big enough to be a hawk, though he didn’t have markings and his demeaner was different from that of any hawk we’d seen. I got enough pictures to determine he was dark all over, and he had a large solid beak. He displayed interest in the tree he was resting in, examining the moss. Possibly looking for insects? My sister and I were baffled.
“He’s not any of these hawks.” She handed the book to me. No, he wasn’t a hawk. I took some more pictures. The dogs whined. They were ready for their walk! Look! Another dog is walking. Look, look! “We’re checking out the bird first.” I said firmly. I took some more pictures.
My sister took the book back and flipped through. “I have an idea.” She said. It paid off. The picture she showed was of a raven – not a super common bird in this part of King County. It was our bird. We were very pleased.
The rest of the venture was routine. We saw a kingfisher, and chickadees, and a pair of ducks. “Last week we saw two blue herons!” My sister was wistful. But this week we saw none. There were no visible robins, though I was sure I heard some by the river. They seem to go away this time of year as well.
Starting August wasn’t as unsuccessful as I feared, bird wise. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching – and photographing them.
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!