An Amateur Birdwatcher's tally
Fall spurs more bird watching for me than any other season. Spring is second. But now, when the air is cooling, the wind is sometimes wild, greenery has sprung to life after some rain, now is a busy season.
At home I am cleaning all the bird stuff – feeders, feed container, and fountain. I also clean up around the feeders. Birds are appreciative guests but not neat eaters. They charm me with their daintiness and cheerfulness but not with their manners. My cleanup is basic but thorough. I scrub each bird feeder and suet holder with bleach water, then rinse them fanatically. Then I let them air dry before putting them out.
I took a long weekend of birding to celebrate the season. There were the regular errands to do. But they were not my focus. At Walmart I found brewers’ blackbirds mixed with starlings and crows. At Safeway gulls mixed with crows. I was glad to see the gulls. They seemed to have vanished most of the summer. Now they are back.
A hawk was on a light pole on highway 18. But my favorite Saturday bird was the hummer outside of PetSmart! There was a pair, but one of them flew away. The other gave us a show. It closed the day on a sweet note.
Sunday was a regular bird watching day. I filled the feeders and the suet so when we returned the yard would be full of chickadees, sparrows, and juncos. The dogs were excited about going to the park. Just as exciting was after we got off the highway when the windows came down. After Katie’s adventure of throwing herself out the window we only lower them partially. Maggie doesn’t mind that. Katie pouts a bit.
Rolling fog has started coming through in the mornings. This isn’t something we like in our drive by birding. But we travel through a valley so we have to deal with it. For a while the sun looks like the moon behind the thick fog. Then it burns our eyes as it pierces through the soupy atmosphere.
The term “early bird” is not as accurate as I would expect. Pigeons aren’t often up until we return from our birding. This becomes more common as winter progresses and light struggles to overtake darkness. But we saw three hawks on this trip. No blue herons. We saw red winged blackbirds but no kingfisher. Katie and I saw a solitary robin as we strolled along, but birding was light this morning.
Upon coming home, we found juncos, chickadees, and sparrows happily ignoring the scrub jay who seemed to be giving directions of some kind. It was a good bird watching weekend.
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!