Saturday, August 22, 2009

Face to Face with Fellow Face-bookers

It is rare when my weekend off coincides with the Saturday morning bird walks at CNC, so I knew today was going to be a good day when I looked at my calender. When the Cincinnati weather people were all forecasting a high of 72 degrees and low humidity levels, the day promised to be even better. But, when three local birding friends were available to meet at the Cincinnati Nature Center for a morning of walking, talking, laughing, and oh, yes - nature-watching - I was certain today would be the best day of the summer.

Darlena Graham,
yet another trip leader who must suffer the Flock and our foibles

After meeting up in the parking lot (and discussing the state of our FarmVille farms), we hit the trails,

visiting ponds,
bird walk participants at Lotus Pond
Susan, naturally, is not paying attention.

and woods.
CNC volunteers have done a great job
clearing the understory of invasive honeysuckle.

the log cabin at Matt's Pond

Farmer Nina is outstanding, by a field.

Susan gets up-close and personal with a fun guy. (Fungi. Get it?)

My three amigas - Each one is pointing to a place where she thinks she sees a bird.

left to right: Mary Ann, Nina, Susan

Lots of nature was present today, including insects like this "dog day" (annual) cicada (not to be confused with last year's irruption of periodical cicadas, aka "17 year locusts")

For the record, no, I did not throw this one on Susan.

And plants. Too beautiful to be called weeds, I prefer the term "wildflower" for these gems.



For Jim McCormac: a sedge.
Nut sedge, I think.
"Sedges have edges."

Finally, the trip list. If you think you were going to get through a post about a bird walk and NOT get a Trip List, you obviously haven't been reading this blog very long.

Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue Jay
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
American Robin
Scarlet Tanager
Indigo Bunting
Northern Cardinal
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch

In addition, there was a bird that I initially called a female Scarlet Tanager, but something about it wasn't right. In retrospect, I think it was a female Orchard Oriole.

24 species plus one question mark isn't that great of a trip list, but notice - no starlings or house sparrows, a four woodpecker day (anything over 3 woodpecker species constitutes a good day for me), and some really cool birds. Plus, the fun of being with friends topped my day.

Yes, today was definitely the best day of the summer. So far.


donaldthebirder said...

You didn't eat the cicada? They don't taste as earthy as the periodical cicadas, as they haven't been in the ground for 13-17 years ;-)

Frank Baron said...

Sounds like great fun. Very nice pics too.

Kyle said...

I'd have to agree with you, Kathi -- any 4-woodpecker day is an outstanding day, even if you didn't see anything else! Throw in a handful of good friends and you just can't miss.

Susan Ellis said...

New to your blog - great photos and commentary! BTW - an old woodsman told me recently that Jewelweed is nature's antidote to Poison Ivy. You break the leaves, and rub it over the affected area - works like a charm!

holly-the-person said...

At first glance, I thought your caption said 'My three amoebas', lol.

cindyzlogic said...

Great post! Wow! what a bird list!

Mary said...

Kathi, it's so good to see you all but where are YOU? LOL!

And, thanks for the info on CIV. I feel good knowing I have you to rely on...