Friday, April 03, 2009

Weekday Vacation- Birding

I have discovered one of the nicest parts of being retired. We don't have to wait until the weekend to take off for some terrific birding and vacationing! Kentucky brags on its state park system, and we went to Lake Cumberland State Resort Park on Wednesday and Thursday. Practically had the whole place to ourselves. There were some court personnel tied up in meetings, but no one else hiked the trails.
Every time I go birding, I learn something new. My latest discovery is that Pine Siskins go "Ziiiiippp," like they are unzipping their jeans at the end of the day! This guy says, "Sure, I always knew that. Glad you finally caught on." Chipping Sparrows trill as well as chip, and there are more Tufted Titmice at the park than any other kind of bird. When you discover things for yourself, you remember them much better than just being advised about it by someone else. I'm sure all you teachers have some fancy name for this concept.
The woodpeckers were busy doing their rat-a-tat thing. Two Downy Woodpeckers chased each other up and down and around this small tree for about 20 minutes, contesting possession of a nicer tree with lots of nesting cavities. Little guys can be aggressive too! The Pileated Woodpeckers flew through the woods, darting behind a tree and laughing at us whenever we thought we might get a picture.
Now generally, I don't like Grackles. They are loud and bossy. When the sun shines though, they have so many beautiful iridescent colors. I showed Dick this and said, "Isn't it pretty?" but he couldn't go along with that. We decided to agree that it is more colorful than one would ordinarily expect of a Grackle. When you are retired, you learn to be diplomatic. As we walked through the forest, shadows sped ahead on the path. Looking up, many vultures soared overhead, both Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures. They seemed to have fun sky surfing even as the storms roared in with 30+ mph winds over the lake.

One time, though, the shadow was not a Vulture, but a mature Bald Eagle. Too many trees for a picture, but it was still exciting. Salato Wildlife Center has two injured Eagles on exhibit for education purposes, and one of them decided it was bath time, just as we came to see them.

Editorial Comment:
Hey Google! Listen up here! We all like to upload lots of pictures for our blogs, but it's a real pain in the *#$% to have to go back for each one individually in your dialog box. If Walgreen's can let me select multiple files for simultaneous upload, why can't you?


swamp4me said...

I think the grackle is quite pretty -- goofy, but pretty ;) We are getting a good variety of birds now. It is so nice to hear songs I haven't heard for months!

Kathiesbirds said...

What a nice walk, Denapple. I think that is the most colorful grackle I have ever seen! You captured it perfectly! As for uploading photos, I upload 3 at a time, which is apparently the most it can handle. Isn't there a link on your blog to upload more than one? However, if I want different alignments or sizes, then I have to do them individually.

See you at New River!

denapple said...

I click the Browse button to get one picture, then have to click another Browse button to get the second picture. With Picasa and Walgreens, I can select multiple pictures at once without having to go back through the list each time. Much easier.

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.