Monday, May 25, 2009

Way Better Than Church

I wish I could spend every Sunday morning like I did yesterday. I visited Cherokee Marsh for the first time in quite a while and had an extremely relaxing and renewing walk. Maybe the world would be a better place if more people spent some time every week out in nature rather than cooped up in some building listening to a bunch of stories about how bad they are.

One of the first birds I saw was an Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) nearly overhead.

Farther along, after seeing some Common Yellowthroats (Geothlypsis trichas) I spooked a frog who jumped out of sight right after I took its picture. I guess it was shy.

Passing through the oak trees on my way to the boardwalk I came upon an Eastern Wood Peewee (Contopus virens) singing its whiny call.

Down at the water I found most of the boardwalk has been destroyed so making that loop was out of the question. Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoenicius) were abundant and vocal.

Looping back through the woods to reach the other end of the boardwalk and the observation platform I ran into this little bigmouth, or I guess I should say bigbeak. He's a House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) just like the ones in my back yard.

Only a few yards off the observation platform a pair of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) flew in and stood around in the tall grass. They must have been pretty tired. This one yawned a lot and I watched it nod off several times.

In a nearby tree a Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) was singing loudly. This is one of only a few warbler species that nest this far south. Most of them just pass through on their way to the northern forests for the summer so one has to get out at the right time to see them.

I have a hard time with sparrow identification, but I'm pretty sure this is a Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana.)

Heading back to the car I could hear several Red-eyed Vireos (Vireo olivaceous) singing their distinctive song. This one was generous enough to come down a little lower and pose for a picture.

To make the church-alternative complete I went to a good friend's home for breakfast. Waffles and orange juice--now that's my kind of Communion!

2 Responses:

Michigoose said...

Sheesh Mark! I am so impressed with the number of birds you can see on just one short trip! Its nice to see the Sandhills coming back so strong.

Shady Character said...

It really was an exceptional morning. I didn't want to leave.