Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bird Watching 101

Sarah's newest passion is birds. She has been studying all about them for the up coming science fair. It has been fun trying to identify the birds that visit our backyard and feeder. Sarah has done a good job figuring out most of them, however when you're not sure what you are looking at one small brown bird looks just like another, at least to me. So when Sarah heard that Tin Mountain led bird watching walk through the Brownfield Bog she just had to go.

So bright and early at 5 o'clock this morning the alarm clocks went off. Sarah, Rebekah and I grabbed a back pack stuffed with snacks, water, a sketch pad, colored pencils and of course a diaper, pulled on our rubber boots and applied a thick layer of bug spray and headed to the bog.

About 20 of us headed into the bog. It was a good mix of amateur and experienced bird watchers. Armed with our binoculars and enthusiasm, we were not to be disappointed. Before we had even left the parking area we spotted the most beautiful Northern Oriole (previously known as the Baltimore Oriole). Neither Sarah nor I had ever seen one. It was such a brilliant orange. Just AWESOME!

Above you see some of the group headed into the bog. It seemed we stopped every few feet to view another species of bird. We saw lots of pairs building next and "flirting". We even saw a couple of Black-and-White Warblers having a tiff as the female looked on. I wonder which one won her heart?

A few of the group are avid bird watchers. They were truly amazing in their knowledge and love for these little feathered creatures. One woman, Dixi, took a special liking to Sarah and made sure Sarah saw each bird before we moved one. Dixi's friend had this awesome, powerful spotting scope. It was so cool to see the birds UP CLOSE through this. Thank you Dixi for touching Sarah's heart and making her passion come alive.

This area of the bog open up quite a bit. We saw a quite a few relay neat bird here. One of the neatest experiences was listening to a recorded Sora call via and iPod and speaker and listening to the Sora in the bog call back. When the Sora finally emerged it wasn't one, but two! It was really cool to see the bird respond to the bird call. And from what I understand the Sora was a rare find for these parts. None of our group had ever seen one in the bog before. Sarah and I had never seen one before.

After three and a half hours of splashing through the bog with our neck craned in the air we had seen over 40 different species of birds, two snakes, a frog, and make some new friends. Sarah's excitement for birds grew tremendously. She can't wait to go back next week. Yes, we are going to do it again.

1 comment:

  1. How exciting! What an awesome way to spend a morning. We love watching the birds that come to our backyard feeders and discovering the different kinds. We would love to go on a birdwatching excursion like this one day! I just posted on my blog about a Professor Noggin Birds of North America Trivia Game that my children love! It really helps them learn some facts about many different kinds of birds while having fun.


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