Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Morning Steps and Birding

Red Headed Woodpecker
Beckley Creek is the Century 21 park closest to my house, and since I was out that way this morning, I decided to get my 10,000 steps for the day started and do a little birding at the same time. I can reliably find Red Headed Woodpeckers here along the banks of Floyds Fork.
Red Winged Blackbird
And I usually under-count the numbers of Red Winged Blackbirds if I send in a list to eBird because there are so many of them in the meadows.
Indigo Bunting
I've learned to look carefully to tell the difference between the Indigo Bunting and the Blue Grosbeak, although I didn't find any Grosbeaks this morning. Meadowlarks and Common Yellowthroats called from the grass, but wouldn't come up to see me when I played their calls on my bird app.
Song Sparrow
I can always count on the Song Sparrows to entertain as I walk around. A Northern Bob White called from a tree, instead of the grass, then flew over my head to the next field to defend his territory.
Common Milkweed
Butterfly Weed
 The various milkweeds are beginning to bloom, but I only saw the little white and yellow butterflies.
Cliff Swallow
Other walkers greeted me, asking what I'd found, or sharing what they had seen. One couple was amazed by all the swallows under a bridge, so I headed in that direction. I'm pretty good at recognizing Barn Swallows and Tree Swallows, but these looked like Cliff Swallows, which I had only seen before out west.
A colony of Cliff Swallows have built their jug shaped nests of mud under a bridge over Floyd's Fork. They are protected and yet have easy access to bugs around the river.

Some of the babies are leaving the nest and learning to fly, or preening after getting a bug from the surface of the water. What a great way to spend the morning! And I got my 10,000 steps in with no trouble!