Friday, June 19, 2009

A Blessed Birding Day

Michael, the boys, and I spent the morning bird watching. We live near a large lake and have a few spots that we frequent. Today we decided to be adventurous and visit a few new water-front parks. As we pulled into the first park on our itinerary, two birds were chasing each other only a few feet from our parking spot. When we opened the car doors, we could clearly hear they were an Eastern-wood Pewee and a Chipping Sparrow. We were able to get a good view of them (and six other Pewees) through our binoculars.

While at this park we also heard an Eastern Towhee, Downy Woodpecker, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, and Brown Thrasher. We saw several crows. There were both Fish and American species. We also saw a large group of Turkey Vultures and another bird of prey that we could not identify. It flew by us too quickly for a good view. I also saw a bird diving but could not identify it either.

Cliff Swallows

At our next stop, we walked onto a boat dock where we had an excellent view of a bridge. There were hundreds of swallows flying to and from the underside of this bridge. We could not get a good enough view (we left the scope at home, of course) to identify the species, so we walked to it. There was a line of about fifty Cliff Swallows perched on the power lines above. Many more flew over our heads and under the bridge. We had seen these once before but not with an up-close view like this. Beautiful!

Cliff Swallows Perched on Power Lines
These pictures do give you as clear of a view as what we saw in person. We could see their red necks and rust-colored rumps so clearly.

When we arrived home, there were about ten different birds singing in our backyard. We were able to identify all but one. We are still working on it. As we were walking in the back door, a Great Blue Heron flew through the trees and over our house. It circled for about two minutes and then flew back in the direction it had come. We have seen ths bird many, many times before but never at our house. We live in downtown! Unbelievable! What a blessed birding day!
I have promised a few readers that I will write an introduction to bird watching series. I have an outline and some plans in place. I intend to begin that series when I complete the Plan-It School series... by August, Lord willing.

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