Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Campus Birding

It's still very hectic at work but yesterday I managed to squeeze in a 15-minute walk down to the start of the campus nature trail.

I was pleased to see a pair of Mourning Doves preening and sunning themselves on the handrail of the footbridge.

A few years ago, we used to see a lot of Mourning Doves at the college and at home. However, they now seem to have been largely displaced by the more aggressive White-winged Doves from Mexico that are gradually colonizing the USA.

On the other side of the footbridge, there was a huge amount of bird noise and activity. Yellow-rumped Warblers seemed to be clicking away from almost every tree and large bush, while groups of American Robins kept flying in and then leaving again.

The tops of the trees held scores of Cedar Waxwings.

The Robins and the Waxwings were too skittish to let me get close. They aren't normally so disturbed by my presence but they haven't seen me much lately and so I suppose they're still afraid of me.

I had several glimpses of small birds scuttling around in the undergrowth. At least one of the them was a Sedge Wren. However, the only one I got a real look at was a White-throated Sparrow, which briefly hopped up into a tree.

By then it was time to head back to my office, running a gauntlet of half-a-dozen Northern Mockingbirds along the way.

I really wish I wasn't so busy at present, since I'd like to be able to spend some time around the retention ponds near the campus entrance. A local birder reported seeing a Bald Eagle hunting over the northern pond on the weekend. I love my work but I'd love to watch a Bald Eagle even more.

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