Bird brained stories!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Please, just one new bird. One new photo.

I think my career got in the way of my birding this spring, and I've missed out. I've seen a grand total of two new birds this year since May 17, when the migration was heaviest through the flyway. Ruddy Ducks and a Peregrine Falcon. Two birds! I suppose if I could identify any of the various flycatchers I've seen, I could add to that list, but none of them seem inclined to sing, leaving them listed as "empid" on my list.

Photography is becoming more challenging as well. The leaves have filled out, and all I can see are flashes of movement, if even that. The one good thing that might be said about this is that my ability to bird by ear is improving.

I went out tonight along the LaCrosse River Bike Trail, a favorite haunt of mine. Instead of continuing toward LaCrosse, I took the side trip toward Veterans Park. I figured maybe, just maybe, I could spot a few new things in all the sedge meadow there. When I'd last been in those reaches, it was winter, I was on skis and I could get right into the dogwood. Not so easy tonight, though the flowering dogwood attracted lots of activity. Most commonly seen were the ubiquitous Red-Winged Blackbirds, along with yet more "empids," refusing to sing but behaving in very much the flycatcher fashion, perching high, flitting off, then returning to their preferred perch. Bunches of bright yellow warblers, as yet unidentified, but lacking the red breast stripes of the Yellows, so who knows?

The only photos taken were distant shots for ID purposes, nothing of worth photographically. The light was right, but nothing else was. In fact, I'd have to say my last decent photo was one taken about a week ago in the Myrick Marsh, as I tried to move along the trail, left standing as a family of geese browsed at their pace along the trail. I've met quite a few of these families lately.
Do you realize how big the giant race of Canada Geese are, especially as they hold their ground, extend their necks and hiss at you? So far, I've been able to pass by these little family groups without getting anything more than a photograph. Hopefully, activity will pick up again as birds finish nesting and come out to play once more. I need to add to my list, the one whose number I refuse to reveal as it may incriminate me!


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