(I wrote most of this blog the last week of March and now just getting a chance to post. I thought I’d better get it posted since most posts going forward will be about London and migration. The photos are with my old camera.)
One of the frustrating things about birding is hearing a bird and not being able to see it. Especially grassland birds when the grass isn’t high. You hear them calling constantly but never see them.
Where are they at?
One of the prime examples is the EASTERN MEADOWLARK.
You can hear meadowlarks calling. There might be 1, 2, or 10 birds out there but you don’t know for sure because you never see them.
Or yes you do when they pop up to sing on a bush or tree. Otherwise they are hidden.
How do they hide in such short grass?
I spent some time with an Eastern Meadowlark on a recent Saturday afternoon trying to find out. (I started with a Wilson Snipe but it wasn’t cooperating.) I heard the meadowlark but couldn’t see him. So I waited and watched and after some time he popped up again.
He was hidden, popped up, sang for a while, and disappeared again. Where did he go?
If you look closely at the following photo you will catch a glance of his head on the center of the photo to the far right. Now I know why I don’t see them. He sang in the above photos, ducked, and ran to the west.
He is walking in grass only about half his height, he’s walking low, and keeping his camouflaged non-yellow side towards me.
And when he did sing he didn’t stand all the way up. He just kept low singing. No wonder I’m overlooking them. If I hadn’t caught any of the minimally exposed yellow color I’d miss him.
I ended the session with the understanding how I miss seeing Eastern Meadowlarks.
Not sure I’ll find them any easier though I now have an understanding.