Thursday, November 3, 2011

Return to the Field

What with home selling and buying, moving, work changes, health concerns, and more this year, I haven't been into the field to enjoy birds in months, but this past weekend I took two hours to reacquaint myself with the joys of binns hanging around my neck, my field bag and camera bag bumping on opposite hips, and the feel of cold fingers in the autumn breeze as I fiddled with a focus wheel. I'd forgotten how good it truly feels to be out birding.

I felt I was rewarded, though with only spotting six species on one of my favorite loops in Provo Canyon, other birders might not agree that it was a productive morning. Still, the birds I saw were most memorable...
  • American Dipper: Dipping along in the river, and falling off a rock in its haste to secure what must have been a very tasty morsel.
  • Black-Billed Magpie: Elegantly flying through the picnic area of the park where I began my walk, sunlight glinting off its regal plumage.
  • Song Sparrow: Twittering back at me and eagerly responding to simple pishing as it hopped and skittered through thick brush.
  • Belted Kingfisher: Irately buzzing along the river in a never-ending quest for food, strong wing beats giving it both power and speed.
  • Black-Capped Chickadee: Frantically foraging for insects in the last remaining autumn leaves, never sitting still for an instant.
  • Spotted Sandpiper: Walking and probing along an exposed sandbar from the drained reservoir, meticulously pacing the shore while foraging.
No matter what birds you may or may not see, it pays to get out into the field to enjoy them all. I won't be so long away from the trails, paths, forests, fields, and feathers again.

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