There are certain species you group together and others that never cross your mind in the same thought. And I can’t say I thought of Horned Larks and Warbling Vireos together until this past summer.
After 20 miles of the 25 mile route of the Uncompahgre BBS route in western Colorado I could tell things were slowing down. At an elevation of 9500 feet there wasn’t much habitat left except for the occasional Alpine Glade. I wasn’t seeing many species and the few I encountered were calling less and less.
Except for Warbling Vireos.
I think every Alpine Glade had one or two calling.
And then it dawned on me things weren’t all that different from running the BBS routes in Central Indiana. The further away I got from the trees and water of the Big Blue River on the Shelbyville BBS and went further east into the agriculture lands birding slowed down dramatically.
Except for Horned Larks.
It seemed every stop past 20 miles had a few calling or landing on the road. And not much else.
I find it eerie how two things totally unrelated make you recall the memory of one another. There’s nothing even similar about the habitat or the birds to tie the two experiences together. Just the lack of birds.
The start of the BBS route had numerous birds calling and flying by. Exciting. But I didn’t think “Oh, this reminds me of the start of the Shelbyville BBS”. Or any other experience.
I think what it comes down to is at the start of both routes I was living in the excitement of the present.
And it must have been the slow birding at the end of each route that let my mind wander to other times and tie the two experiences together.
Last week consisted of traveling for work. So only the weekend for birding. But Mike had been out during the week to the local flooded field and nothing new. Only the usual species. But Saturday of August Birding 2017 Week 3 proved to be fruitful.
Saturday started on a good note as two Common Nighthawks were flying over as I walked to the car. At first I thought they were early then I remembered it was the third week of August.
The plan for the day was a tour from Mike of Eagle Creek Park since I had only been there a couple of times in the 4.5 years we have been in Indiana.
We started with a quick check of the south part of the reservoir from Rick’s Boatyard. In the early light we picked up first of season Blue-winged Teal and Pied-billed Grebe.
We moved on to Eagle Creek Park. With a triathlon in progress we decided to park out a distance and walk to the Ice Skating Ponds. The walk there and the later walk to the Marina were both quiet.
Around the ponds there was a lot of activity with Red-eyed, White-eyed, and Warbling Vireos all seen. Plus the usual flycatchers were present. And have you noticed Baltimore Orioles are singing again?
At the Marina Purple Martins were putting on a display chasing Spotted Sandpipers and even a Double-crested Cormorant.
Mike had to take off so I headed to the Handicapped Road late morning. Though it was quiet I did pick up a couple of new birds for the August total.
A walk on the north trail proved productive adding a couple more to the month total.
I ended the day well north of 50 species and in the high 80’s for the month. Don’t know if I’ll get to 115 but I should break 100 for the month.
I’m hoping for redemption today with a few photos from Sunday. Saturday the wind gusts were blowing at greater than 25MPH in the open areas which meant taking photos of grasslands birds tough. I still tried to take photos of distant birds though. And the photos from the woods weren’t any better with the overcast skies and light rains.
Sunday afternoon I went to the central part of Atterbury FWA. That part of Atterbury is closed daily until 1PM for Spring Turkey Season. So to see if it will be worth birding next Saturday on the IAS Big May Day Count I went bushwhacking after 1PM. I did come across several species that might be needed if not found in the morning Saturday. The lighting wasn’t much better with overcast skies but they weren’t the heavy clouds. I got a few photos which hopefully will redeem myself.