Friday, August 24, 2007

Birding in the Rain

Magnolia Warbler (spring)

The stream corridor of Pheasant Branch is flooded. None of the stream crossings are passable and it would be dangerous to even try. The City of Middleton has prudently closed the trails, but there are still accessible points to see birds without having to cross the rushing water.

Amid sprinkles this morning, Dottie Johnson and I found a Magnolia Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Black-and-white Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers and a few American Restarts right along the dead-end street that leads up to Parisi Park. The highlight of the morning was watching a preening Nashville Warbler at eye-level from only several feet away. Holding up our binoculars and observing its incredible detail at such close range, it delicately worked its feathers with its bill. Such views enable me to wonder with an elevated sense of awe. It's like experiencing the bird from its point of view. For those few moments it's much easier to relate and imagine what a particular bird's life is like and what it endured during last night's storm.

The weather should clear up for the next few days, but rain is once again in the forecast for next week. My August 30th field trip will take place rain or shine, but should the trail remains closed we'll do a similar route along the street by Parisi Park. There will still be many excellent birds to see!

From the road near PBC/Parisi Park 08/24/07:

Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch

Magnolia Warbler © 2007 Mike McDowell

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