An Amateur Birdwatcher's tally
Here in King County we had a very strong windstorm over the 2nd weekend of January 2019. There were plenty of downed trees. Now we inspect the toppled posts and the thick wires strewn across the road. “It's not worth it." I declare. My sister agrees. So we turn away and head to our second choice of bird watching sites. It's a rural like street not far from Emerald Downs, a large horse racing facility.
As we drive by, a bald eagle takes flight before I can catch it with my camera. He causes all the other birds to flutter upwards and circle the lake in the meadow where he had rested.
We plan to walk our dogs and look for birds. It is my turn to walk Katie, who likes to march along smartly. To our right is a dairy farm. The fields are swampy and full of fowl. They float and bob along in about three inch Water. They strut on the semi dry ground in twos and threes. In many ways it is like observing school children at recess. While strolling along with Katie, I add Northern Shovelers, Wigeons, and Mallards to my list of crows, seagulls, hawk, and Canada Geese. I love the reflections on the shallow lakes. Suddenly I realize that Katie has slipped her front paws out of her harness and is wearing it like a diaper. I am in immediate danger of having a loose dog on my hands. She is skittish, as well. In one smooth motion I scoop her up and carry to my sister, her mama and the only human being that she trusts completely. Sarah hands off a still fully dressed Maggie and gently redresses her dog. Maggie and I head back to the car. My calm natured chihuahua pug calmly scoots forward, barely noticing the change in walking companions.
I take a ten second video of a stand of trees just for fun. Then I buckle Maggie in, and climb back into the car.
We decide to traverse the standing water down the street and look for blue herons. It is an adventure. Will we get stuck? Will we sink? We do neither. We also don’t find any herons. So we plow back through with bated breath. Toward the end of our country trip we run into a road block of a different nature. Did they forget their signs? The pigeons scatter in annoyance when we pull up.
These pigeons are common city birds. That makes them no less beautiful. I love their communities -they cheer up many bridges and light poles. Simple creatures with slender heads and necks, they brighten the dark days of winter. They are members of the Columbiformes family. This group was all band tails. Rock doves and mourning doves are also familiar in this area, though not as common.
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!