Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bike&Birds

I like the natural world. In college I went on a streak of trying to learn trees from an Audubon Field Guide, the nice hefty brown one. From there I took to star gazing, again with their Field Guide, this one a blue. In the ensuing years I've forgotten much of that earlier study to my dismay. I still like stars, but one has to be up in the dark to do that, and I prefer a nice 10pm bedtime to keep my humors in order. Of late I've taken to bird watching, somewhat passively at first but of late a bit more. Like trees and stars, there are LOTS of bird in our everyday lives and it's a pretty free enterprise to take a glance. I garden a bit, so our yard is regularly visited by the local KY feathered crowd: robins, cardinals, finches, bluejays, mockingbirds, the summer hummingbird, an occasional hawk. I've posted before about 'Ol Blue, the Great Blue Heron who is a regular resident along the Beargrass Creek Trail. He's now kept company by a Kingfisher that I've seen there several times. Bicycling and Birding are not completely synchronous activities, though. You can zoom by and catch a glimpse of something interesting, but to stop and look and take out some binoculars is not alltogether natural unless you're traveling for that purpose.

As to that, yesterday I took the QB out for a casual evening stroll and decided to make it a bit of a birding trip. March has been a miserable work month and weather one to boot. Right now it's 25F. The average is 37F and the avg is high is 56F. For me it's just too damn cold. No me gusta. And tennis has started. That is another dirge, but suffice to say it's not been a good month, so an hour and change of two wheels and relaxation were in order. My path was nothing new: parks, Beargrass Trail, Butchertown Greenway, the river. Bird-wise I didn't see too terribly much except for robins, which are as plentiful as rats around here. Once at the river at the cyclocross park I dismounted at the bridge and though I saw a few interesting things further towards the river so I walked down there and stood a bit in the 32F wind. Damn cold, but better than being on the tennis court in that temp. My sightings:

  • Great Heron right next to the river
  • Two pissed-off Kingfishers, one who flew off and another who did laps of the creek area making a lot of racket.
  • Mallard ducks and more mallard ducks, two pair of which I also saw along the Beargrass Trail.
  • Hawk- probable but a bit too far away
  • Turkey Vulture
  • little brown bird, probably a sparrow. I'm pretty good at great big birds like herons, but the little beige ones take practice.
  • Robins, more robins, lots of robins
  • Cardinals- male and female in a thicket
  • Two more Herons- I moved down river a bit towards downtown and saw them along the crew canal. One could have been a repeat.
  • A gaggle of Geese, which looked like domestic geese to me.
Not bad for a one-stop wildlife view. Later I bent my way to OYLC to shoot the breeze and Drew offered me a refreshing beverage, which I enjoyed thoroughly. It was the most relaxing hour and change I have experienced in weeks, since we returned from Florida I guess. (I saw lots of birds there, too)

QB along Beargrass Creek @ Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park

If you enlarge you can see slightly better the two Great Herons that have taken flight here. I meant to look up those geese too. They look domesticated.

Ooo, me, Mr. Hardman on cold bike ride. Then I saw this colorful women's crew team practicing along the river. Shit. Mucho mas cold.



2 comments:

A Midnight Rider said...

I have been gradually getting into birdwatching. Not serious yet but I think it's coming.

In other news. Barca with 4 goals. WOW. I'm going with PSG this year for the Champions League.

Tim Smith said...

Ibra does have a habit of winning things where he plays. That said, los Cules certainly answered the alarm bells. I'm still pulling for my Merengues, but it will have to be on the back of CR9, b/c their forewards are pretty pitiful this season.

As to birds, I have a feeling I'll be interested in attaining a certain basic level, but differentiating the 18 kinds of warblers seems daunting and mildly unproductive. Just got a copy of Sibly's Eastern US book. Bird Nerds say that's the one, fyi.

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