Sunday, November 7, 2010

Broad Meadow Brook Sunday

I decided to trail run Broad Meadow Brook this morning and would arrive just as day light started to break. The air would be downright chilly as I got out of the car and would be greeted by bird chatter that seemed to be everywhere. I'd try and focus on one call I was hoping for and that would be the Pine Siskin as I listened to it this morning over and over while getting ready considering I'm rather rusty on it so knew I needed some practice. Alas, I wouldn't get one but did see the regulars including a Northern Mockingbird chasing a male Northern Cardinal, and quite a few White-breasted Nuthatches like the one above.Since the air was so cold, the camera went into my bag and off I went on my trail run to warm up. It would be a little under a mile that I'd start getting hot and off would come a layer and I would hear many American Goldfinches so I'd stop the Garmin and do some pishing hoping a Pine Siskin would be part of the flock but it would once again be a no go.
The Mallards would be around including the handsome drake above back in his usual handsome plumage and there would be a Cooper's Hawk nearby perched in a tree but it would flee before I had the opportunity to get my camera on it.
Talk about a hike! I had to go back that way too!

I'd finally make my way to the powerline trail in a sort of running trance as there was no one around so was in my own little world. The wind would start to pick up as there were no longer trees to shelter me from it and my eyes would water and nose numb as I looked straight ahead and picked up the pace so I could get back into the woods and away from the wind assault. I could hear some bird chatter to the right of me as I mentally told myself what it was and it would be the usual White-throated Sparrows and a little further up would be the Dark-eyed Juncos, but then I'd hear something that would cause me to do an abrupt stop (while running downhill mind you!) as this note call warranted some further investigation!

The Garmin would stop and the camera start as I'd do some pishing to try and get the bird out of hiding. The pishing would be all wrong due to me still being a tad out of breath so I sounded more like I as having an asthma attack vs. being a threatening creature, but the wheezing seemed to do the trick as the little bird in question would fly out of the brush along with the Juncos and make its way to a nearby tree. I was at a serious disadvantage here because my bins were in my car but could pick up on the bird being a good one due to the rust it had which could be seen even in flight. Hmmmmmmm....A Wood Thrush I would think as my eyes scanned for it on the nearby tree. It can't be as surely they have all moved on by now.

I'd get my camera on it, take a picture and look at it with my naked eye and my heart would skip a beat as the first thing I thought of was Fox Sparrow. Performance anxiety would start to rear it's ugly head as the first picture was lousy and I needed a good picture for positive ID as I continued to click and hope the bird decided to stick around some.
And the bird would indeed be kind enough to do me the honors. Sigh, such a great bird and one I've been trying to get for the past two years now but have never been at the right place at the right time until today. Funny in that I had thought about not even doing the powerline trail today but then told myself I had to as I wanted to get over 6 miles and this would help so I guess it paid off in the end. And this is a life bird for me too to boot so it was a great way to start the week. November has been pretty darn good to me considering I'm not twitching for birds and it's only November 7th and I have already gotten 2 lifers! Hoping the streak continues.

Take care all.


Chad said...

Congrats on the Fox Sparrow. I did not see one at all last year... I got one a few weeks ago this year - a very nice bird!

Springman said...

Wonderful shots!
You would be welcome to contribute and help to begin a new endevour called "World Bird Wednesday" a chance for bird photographers to share and spread word of their blogs to others!
Visit and check it out!

eileeninmd said...

Congrats on your lifers. The Fox Sparrow is a pretty bird, nice shots.

Mildred said...

Hi Kim, I followed you a long time ago (lost track) and just ran across your blog. Hope your running is going well. You sure have some beautiful photos oh these blogs. Just saying "hi" and hope all is going well.


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