Sunday, July 12, 2015

Vacation Day 1

This morning, we woke up at 5:00 a.m. (!!) so that we could be at our birding location 30 minutes away by 6:30 or so.  We had two target birds, both of which would be life birds--the cerulean warbler, which breeds in the area but is a species in decline, and the tropical kingbird, which doesn't belong anywhere the hell near here (as you might have gathered from the name) but there's one summering here anyway.  I mean, this is the range map for this bird.  That sucker is lost!


It was already warm when we arrived about 6:40 this morning (and oh god, did it get worse), and the birds were quite active, so I'm glad we didn't delay any.  Another reason to be up early?  We saw TWO BUNNIES.  And a two bunny day is a good day.

We first took the trail toward the spot where the tropical kingbird has been reported, and as we approached the spot, a guy with binocs and a camera with a giant lens told us he was looking at the kingbird.  So we saw it, easy-peasy!  The tropical looks a lot more like the Couch's kingbird than I expected, and Robert said that for the first week or so, the identification of this bird was uncertain...until it sang and announced itself.  We watched the bird for about 15 minutes and then retraced our steps so we could get on a trail that the cerulean warbler had been seen on.

But as we approached the end of the trail where we'd started, we heard a warbler singing who sounded like he could be the cerulean.  I had Robert play the song on the Cornell website from his phone, and it was so identical to what we were hearing that I was uncertain at first whether the recording had started or whether I was hearing our live bird again.  So hurrah, life bird #2 was added to the list.

But only hearing the cerulean warbler was not satisfactory, so we went to the other trail anyway.  We heard a cerulean a couple more times but never saw one.  And it was a long, hot, sunny walk in which my sunscreen, bug spray, and sweat created this miasma that surrounded me in unpleasantness.  The trail was mostly soft (in several places, it was mud, in fact) but uneven and the terrain was a bit hillier than I would have preferred, especially toward the end.  The last half hour or so, I was just trudging one foot after the other. 

It was good to get back to the air-conditioned car and sit on my ass.

Bird list for the day:  36 species in just under 4 hours

American goldfinch
American crow
Northern cardinal
Blue jay
Hairy woodpecker
American robin
Song sparrow
Red-winged blackbird
Black-capped chickadee
Wood duck
Field sparrow
Chipping sparrow
Ruby-throated hummingbird
Hooded merganser
Barn swallow
Belted kingfisher [yay]
Great blue heron
Cedar waxwing
*Tropical kingbird
Northern flicker
Great-created flycatcher
Indigo bunting
Yellow warbler (R. only)
Green heron
American redstart
House wren
Eastern towhee
*Cerulean warbler (audio)
Common yellowthroat
Red-bellied woodpecker
Downy woodpecker
Yellow-throated vireo (audio)
Eastern wood-pewee (audio)
Wood thrush (audio)

You can kind of tell that by the end there we were mostly just identifying birds by their song/call because it was getting late and warm and the birds were mostly hiding out in the trees (and we weren't stopping to look at much).  By the time we reached the car, we were down to singing cardinals, and soon after leaving the park we saw our first turkey vulture of the day.  Once you're seeing turkey vultures, it's time to be wrapping things up.

I was glad to get out of my sweaty, muddy, bug-sprayed exercise clothes and into fresh clothes in the comfort of our air-conditioned apartment this afternoon, where we lounged around watching movies and that kind of thing.  (Today was I think the warmest day of the summer so far--in the 90s, so definitely warm enough to not want to be out in it.)  

Rabbit Leaf--Sunday, 7/12/15

Jen the librarian is wearing a Pride and Prejudice graphic T (appropriate) and a floral skirt for a cute, casual summer outfit.  She got her shirt from Out of Print, just like I got my Watership Down shirt, so I looked no further for inspiration--this one was destined to be.


I chose this orange leaf-print skirt to pick up the orange and greyish-green colors from the T-shirt, and I took the opportunity to debut my orange ballet flats.  (This seems like an obvious pairing but I don't think I would have thought of it were I not trying to recreate Jen's book graphic T + patterned skirt combination.)  Also, the more I look at this photo, the more it seems like the trees on the shirt have shed their leaves, which are now all over the skirt. 

Watership Down graphic T (Out of Print), $7.67/wear+
Leaf print skirt (thrifted, Talbots), $1.00/wear [yay!]
*Orange flats (Payless), $10.00/wear+

I had planned this outfit yesterday, so it felt delightfully apt to be wearing a rabbit T-shirt after our two bunny morning.  I approve!

1 comment:

mom said...

What a great list of birds! And, what luck getting the tropical kingbird! Of course, I'm envious.