Monday, May 24, 2010

Just Remember It

Sorry I haven't had my camera out lately. It is difficult to manage the camera, binoculars, and two dogs on daily walks.  I really miss having the camera along.  Especially in this new era of eBird when any rare sighting is questioned and photographic proof is the best way to confirm the sighting. 

Take this week for instance.  Thursday morning was the best birding morning that I've had this season.  It was a beautiful morning after 2 days of dreary rain.  Birds were sure to be moving through.  Plus, I had an appointment in Mt. Airy at 10 AM which meant that I could take my time on the morning walk at Pennypack Trust.  There was alot of bird action at the beginning of the trail - Baltimore Oriole, Blackpolls (again), Kingbirds, a Parula singing and flitting about.  Then, a bird popped into a small tree just in front of me.  Kind of vireo shaped but smaller and browner.  I knew it was something different, so I sketched it and made notes of color and field marks on my notepad.  I even had time to look up possibilities while it bounced around the tree.  Through the process of elimination, I came up with Swainson's Warbler.  Rare in our region but it couldn't have been anything else.  No camera.

Next bird outing was Saturday with Lori at Peace Valley park.  We really worked for the birds that morning.  Hiking almost all of the trails around the nature center only getting a bird here and a bird there.  Still no mobs of warblers.  But then, at the end of our walk we heard a mob of crows going ape shit.  I knew they were trying to get rid of a hawk or owl, so we dashed up the trail for a look.  There sat a Great Horned Owl in a mess of vines being tormented and dive bombed by a bunch of crows and Blue Jays.  No camera.

On our way back to the car we finally saw the Yellow-billed Cuckoo that everyone else said was flying back and forth across the bridge.  Also had very close up looks at those beautiful Cedar Waxwings sitting in a Sequoia tree. Yes, you read that right. There are 2 Sequoia trees growing at the edge of Lake Galena in Pennsylvania.  Another guy was getting great photos of that scene but not me.  I'll just have to commit it to memory (or blog about it and read it to myself later).

Next up - Potter County trip for Memorial Day weekend.  I'll pack the camera for sure.
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