Thursday, June 05, 2008

Morning Walk Birds

I mentioned the other day that I take a two-mile brisk walk (without binocs or camera) each day, preferably in the early morning from 6ish to a little before 7. When I've had enough sleep, this walk really energizes me for the day; last night, though, I couldn't get to sleep until about 1:30am so when the alarm sounded today, I was not happy. But I said my little motivational phrase ("It is NOT an option"--my friend Matty taught it to me) and got out of bed.

It is a warm humid day in Central PA; the morning was damp and foggy, but I saw a few good birds. Here's a list of the ones I've been able to see or hear as I (ahem) speed by:

Blackbird, Red-winged
Bluebird, Eastern
Cardinal, Northern
Catbird, Gray
Chickadee, Black-capped
Crow, American
Dove, Mourning
Finch, House
Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray
Goldfinch, American
Heron, Great Blue (more on this later)
Heron, Green
Mallard (I see a drake, two hens, and their (?) eight ducklings every morning. It's a "new" kind of family, I guess....)
Mockingbird, Northern
Robin, American
Sparrow, Chipping
Sparrow, Field
Sparrow, House (I always give them dirty looks)
Sparrow, Song
Starling, European
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Tree
Swift, Chimney
Thrush, Wood (at least one has taken up residence on the wooded hillside across the street--yay!)
Vireo, Warbling
Warbler, Yellow
Waxwing, Cedar
Woodpecker, Red-bellied
Wren, Carolina
Yellowthroat, Common

The gnatcatcher and the green heron were newbies for me today, but the others are pretty much right there with me each and every morning. (or evening, if I can't make myself get up early)

Do you remember those two stick nests I found near my house, built high in a couple of dead pines?

the photo I took in March

Turns out they are great blue heron nests! I've seen two GBHEs flying and landing on the nests and the trees, either brooding on the eggs or just hanging out on a nearby branch. I still haven't seen one land in the marsh, but maybe these are my herons from the past few years? These nests are now well-hidden by leaf cover, but if I look up through a clearing just around the bend of the creek from the nests, I can see the herons and the nests from a slightly different angle and from much farther away than I could in March. I hope we get babies soon!

Not taking my binocs and camera guarantees that I'll focus on walking fast, instead of dawdling at a leisurely pace and looking for birds. Still, it's a nice route, running by sections of Penns Creek so I get to see ducks and geese and their babies sometimes. That, along with running with the cows, is pretty much the highlight of the morning walk. Oh, and all the melting-off of the extra pounds! That too.

29 comments:

DCup said...

What an impressive list. I missed commenting on your runs with cows post, but I wanted to tell you that I love that visual.

Good for you for keeping up with the exercise! I don't know how you have the willpower to leave the camera and binocs at home.

FranIAm said...

This is fantastic D!

Wow, so many birds. I know it must be hard to be without camera or binocs, but you are doing it and that is great.

Even on a day like today when it was hard. Good for you!

NCmountainwoman said...

How great to have the herons to watch. It's also great that you can identify so many birds by sound, a definite advantage when you don't have binoculars, etc.

Lynne said...

You are an inspriation Delia! It sounds like a terrific way to stat your day. That's alot of birds for a one hour walk too. These days my yard birds are pretty few and quite common. I don't have any neighboring cows either. Except that one guy- he's kind of a jerk but I call him something else!

Matty Boy said...

Good work, dg. I'm proud of you.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Wow - such will power! But such rewards!

I think if baby herons hatch you'll know it. They sqwak endlessly when they are little. I know, a heron built a next in a tree right out my window one year and I saw the whole thing. Once the babies hatched .. there were two .. it was non-stop noise!

dguzman said...

DCup--not a walk goes by without me wishing I had at least the binocs--but I know they would slow me down and make me focus on tiny things instead of letting the entire beauty of the morning wash over me (that's my inner hippie talking--peace, man).

Fran--Yup--hard. The other day it rained all day = no walk. But I did some exercises with my ankle weights and dumbbells (sp?) to make up for it.

NCMtnWoman--having my fake birdjam has REALLY helped me learn more birdsongs. It's an amazing tool!

Lynne--hee hee hee.

Matty Boy--thanks, pal!

Rabbits' Guy--probably about the same as the baby grackles we get outside our bedroom window each year, but I imagine the herons are even LOUDER.

Mary said...

You're right. If I want to walk for my health, I'd need to leave the camera and binoculars on the kitchen table. Leave the dogs home, too.

I admire you.

I'm trying to catch up! Sorry I've been away for so long.

Dr. Zaius said...

Catbird? Never heard of it.

I saw a blue heron a couple of weeks ago, I think.

Earl Cootie said...

Soooo-Perb! That is a great list. Comes with living outside an urban center, I guess? We've mostly got regular old neighborhood birds in our immediate walking area. Our neighborhood was cleared of trees throughout most of the past hundred years, and the old folks liked it that way, I guess, because only recently as the pioneers are ageing out and young urbanites moving in, have we been getting re-treed. I've noticed an increase in species variation in just the past several years. I do hope it keeps up. (Before we heat up the planet to the point where we're left with nothing but starlings and house sparrows. Grrrr.)

Mathman6293 said...

A most excellent list. I thought I saw some birds yesterday evening turned out to be ballons in the clouds. Sadly, those ballons will cause havoc with the birds somewhere.

Crayons said...

Hi dguzman
Bravo for jiggling the poundage. I've become lax in that category. You inspire me.

Great job on that bird list. I think I see lots of birds, but I can't yet name them.

Susan Gets Native said...

You alphabetized your bird list by family name. What the Hell is wrong with you? That amount of organization is just uncalled for.


; )

pissed off patricia said...

Wow that's an entertaining list. I have my every day visitors, but nothing even compared to a list that long. Color me green with envy.

dguzman said...

Mary--glad you're back!

Earl--it's been neat to see so many birds each day. Today I heard my first "spring-of-the-year" (Eastern meadowlark) of the year. Cool!

Dr. Z--cool!

Mathman--oh gees...

Crayons--"jiggling the poundage"--I'd be laughing if it weren't so damned true!

Susan--only because I copied and pasted it from my PA checklist. Ease up, lady!

PoP--the benefits of living out in the stix.

ehunter/www.thebuffleheadbirder.com said...

Walking without binos or camera are a guarantee you'll see something you want to investigate.
But even just stepping out the door is an open invitation to some cool opportunity.

Don Lafferty said...

Just amazing! Keep it up!

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