Blue Licks State Park hike

Yesterday and today we visited my wife's in-laws in NE KY. Often I take my bike, but this morning's forecast was for mid-20s and I just wasn't feeling the bike thing. Instead I took some hiking gear, and this morning while everyone soundly slept, I did my early thing and drove down to Blue Lick State Park, which is about a 25 minute drive from the house. I was able to connect a few different trails and put in about 5 miles total, and along the way I had a nice time doing some birding. I was out for 3 hours in temps right around 30F, but I managed to dress very well, and aside a little occasional headwear adjustment, I was comfy the entire time. Following are some images, as well as a list of the birdies I saw.

Crossing 68

Bench I slept on a couple years ago after a bike ride

Northern Flicker, although it looks like a pigeon

Tanner Station with unfortunate graffiti of some kids who probably smoke a lot of meth. Notice the smoke.

Official vehicles from a group of reservists doing their weekend thing. I didn't take pics out of respect. The smoke from the "fort" is theirs.

In case you were wondering, this is what KY cedar scrubland looks like. Birds like it. Little brown ones I can't identify.

Tanner Station with backdrop of bend of Licking River, which the trail follows.

More wet.

New trail into a more wooded area.

Licking River at boat ramp

My path took me along the River Rd. for a spell.

Who's that?!? He's one of 4 who poked their heads out to take a look at what the heck I was doing along the river. Their snorts were louder than expected. 

Full body (river otter in case you weren't sure)

Didn't notice the dab of green along with the orange of the Fall and white of the Winter.

Indian Loop trail, which followed the river before headed up the hill. Loved this trail.


Interesting barn atop the hill across the river valley

E.bluebird and Juncos at parking lot

I would say it was a Sparrow and Woodpecker day. I still have doubts about my sparrow IDs, but it's my list and my blog, so there! I had a big problem, too, in a thicket below 68 (obvious pic above) in which I saw lots of little brown or dark birds that weren't sparrows, but I couldn't really tell what they were otherwise. I assume they were vireos and warblers, but who knows? No me.

**- first sighting
Downy Woodpecker- lots!
Red-bellied Woodpecker**
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Towhee
Golden-crowned Kinglet**
Song Sparrow
Fox Sparrow**
Field Sparrow**
White throated Sparrow

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Pondero said…
Well done. You tempt me to learn more about this birding thing.
Tim Smith said…
@Pondero, the beauty of it for me is/was a bit like the star-watching I did back in the day (I have problems staying up in the dark now). For less than $200 you can get a decent pair of binocs and a handy guide and you have an entirely new, "free" hobby. Yes, you can also pay $2000 for a fancy scope and much more $$ to tour South America on the hunt for birds, but I like a fine walk and something to look at. #outsideisfree as the cool kids are saying in Louisville these days.

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