Bird brained stories!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Finally...the snowbirds return!

There is a bit of mystery inherent in serious birding. Things the birding world knows intimately are unknown to the general public. The general public might note the arrival of robins, and be done with it. Serious birders can read reports sent to online birding communities that interpret radar readings signaling migration and learn that a significant "fallout" of warblers and other migrants will be seen. Such was my hope, as were the hopes of others, when I set off early to join the morning spring bird walks sponsored by the Hixon Forest Nature Center.

Arriving right at 6:30am, about a dozen of us set off down the edge trail, but not before we'd heard, then glimpsed, a Rose Breasted Grosbeak. Red bellied woodpeckers called everywhere, but it seemed otherwise quiet. Then, high in the oaks, we spotted them--warblers! The consensus was Palm Warblers, given the yellow color and rusty cap, along with a tail bobbing habit. Already I was learning much from these birders.

Continuing along, we'd see the occasional robin, listen to the constant chatter of the goldfinches, and hear the call and drumming of the Downy Woodpeckers inhabiting the forest. A White Breasted Nuthatch was spotted, and we all gazed at the perky little bird, laughing that such a specimen was to be our highlight this morning! Not much further down the trail, however, a hermit thrush was spotted on the trail. He didn't sing for us, but was very accomodating in allowing a good view of him and for me, a nice photograph. Later on, an all too common Chipping Sparrow made up for his lack of uniqueness by posing nicely and singing for the camera.

It was such a nice morning, the first warm one in weeks, that having to leave and head to work seemed almost criminal, but leave I did. I was rewarded on my way out by a good view of a Tufted Titmouse whose call confused us by sounding a bit like a demented chickadee.

Getting up when it's still dark seems a bit like a crime against nature, but if one is willing to commit that "crime," the rewards are great.


  • i'm so glad i found you again this weekend. i just love these entries. must see pictures!!! off to read the next one.

    By Blogger doris, at 2:07 PM  

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