Friday morning I arrived at Raptor Rehab around 7:00 am to get birds and go to a program in Georgetown, KY. The weather was wonderful, and the birds behaved themselves. The Scott County 6th graders enjoyed themselves, and so did we. When we arrived back at the center after lunch, John had a Great Horned Owl ready for me to release in Frankfort, KY, later that evening. About 25 parents and children from the school where the bird was tangled in a soccer net arrived to watch it being released. It posed regally for photos for a few minutes, then when it spied familiar woodlands, spread its wings, and I just let go. This was my first release, and very rewarding.
Saturday morning, the Beckham Bird Club met for Breakfast with the Birds. You guessed it - a great picnic breakfast followed by birding on the Anchorage Trail. The weather called for a 60% chance of rain, which did not deter us in the least, but the light was pretty bad. Also, I've been having trouble with my vision lately, and kept getting floaters in front of the warblers through my binoculars. Wild flowers are larger and hold still, though, so I took lots of photos. Our garden is mostly finished blooming, so we are looking for some fall flowers to add for next year.
I know Hummingbirds like red things, but they also love the orange jewelweed that flourishes along the creek, and we saw many of them.
As we neared the lake, we heard the familiar chitter of the Belted Kingfisher, who perched atop the Wood Duck box on the other side of the lake. The water is very shallow, and we kept watching a still, blue colored object. Is it a rock? Some piece of debris? A turtle reflecting the dull sunlight? I guessed a Green Heron, and when it finally moved, that's what it was, and everyone applauded!
The more we walked, the more beautiful fall flowers I found along the trail.
In the middle of the hike, someone's phone rang. A Say's Phoebe had been sighted on the farm of one of our members. Well, Say's Phoebes don't show up very much in Kentucky. We saw them when we were in Arizona. Everyone got excited, and about half the group ran for their cars to see this rarity. The other half finished our hike, finding an Olive Sided Flycatcher, also a very good bird for this area. Then we drove to take a look at the Phoebe! By now, I would have expected Brainard's cows to be accustomed to birders coming into its pasture....
In the evening, I went to the Falls of the Ohio for Rock the Rocks, our annual fundraiser. All chance of rain ceased by the time we began, and the crescent moon and Venus looked spectacular through a birding scope. Sunday afternoon, I'm going back to the Falls to lead a fossil hike, and I'm trying to get hold of someone about releasing a Barred Owl. Do you think I'm too busy?