Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Break in the Weather

I don't really intend to be the Weather Person in these posts, but to a birder, the weather can be important. Either it's lousy, and neither I nor the birds want to be out in it if we can avoid it, or it's turned wonderful, and I can't wait to get outside. Today, the weather is terrific, comfortable in both temperature and humidity after a long spell of hot and humid.

Looks like a great evening for some spur of the moment birding at Garvin Brown Preserve. Birders say it's a large open meadow tucked between the Ohio River and some of the most expensive real estate in the county. A farmer would say it's a big empty field full of weeds. In any event, it's a good place to view all the meadow birds you miss when walking in the woods.

My favorite meadow bird is, of course, the Meadowlark and tonight we hit the jackpot. I have been known to annoy people in my car by driving with the windows down when in farm country, just to listen for Meadowlarks. Tonight, we heard them here and there, and kept hoping we would find one up close. Well, close enough to capture with my lens, then zoom with Photoshop anyway. You can go blind trying to bird at sunset, but this guy just sat on his perch in the next field, about 40-50 yards away, and sang his heart out, with his yellow breast shining as bright as the setting sun. In concentrating on the Meadowlark, I did not see this other bird flying over. We noted the lack of raptors in this field. On closer examination, though, I think it is more likely to be a Barn Swallow, since a lot of them were flying around.

Our other jackpot birds for the evening included an Orchard Oriole, Purple Martin, Tree and Barn Swallows, Cedar Waxwings, and an American Kestral. One more photo gave me two for the money tonight. This cute Song Sparrow and a little lady bug. Looks like he's thinking about lady bug for dessert, doesn't it? I'd love to photograph Swallows on the wing, but just can't see them, find them in the lens and focus before they have moved out of sight. Since I still have the day job, I don't get to go birding often during the week, but it felt like a weekend tonight!

No comments: