I have always watched birds for years. I keep my eyes peeled when on walks. I often gaze outside when passing any window in the house as I go about my chores. I sit quietly a few minutes when down at the pond feeding the fish. These are my usual, yet a bit informal, ways I watch birds. My bird watching is secondary to the primary activity.
Recently, I have decided to be a bit more deliberate in watching for my feathered friends. I actually go out and sit waiting for the magic to happen. My favorite perch is from my comfy and well-worn ottoman placed in the doorway of my garden shed. I am somewhat hidden from view from the birds, yet I have a bird’s eye view of the yard on the west side of the house. This side is home to my apple trees, grapevines, raspberry bushes, hemlock tree, horse chestnut tree, and a multitude of perennial plantings surrounding the central lawn. The birds have great cover here as well as unlimited places to land and rest or sing or for a few, watch me.
My goal is to get a photo of a Baltimore Oriole. So far, I have seen several orioles, have taken a photo of an Orchard Oriole, but the photo of the brilliant orange Baltimore Oriole has eluded me. I will keep trying.
Nevertheless, I was well rewarded with a different bird today.
I no sooner sat down that I was presented with an amazing show. A female cardinal landed within feet of me. A fairly large puddle had formed from our frequent rains in a low spot in the gravel lane. That female hopped around a bit before…
taking the plunge. She dunked her head smack down into the puddle and took a bath.
I have seen smaller birds wade in puddles before, but this was my first time that I was lucky enough to watch a colorful cardinal refresh herself. It was magic, indeed.
I continued to watch and noticed a robin, or two, continually fly in and out of the chestnut tree. The bird would go in with something hanging from its beak. Shortly, the bird would fly out of the tree with an empty beak. I realized that those robins must have a nest in that tree. On closer examination, I proved myself right. A fine nest was firmly set in forking branches near the top of the tree. Suddenly, the adult robin flew onto the nest. Just as fast, the bird was gone.
The last few years the robins had built a nest under the roof of our pergola.
The chestnut tree is a much better option for the birds and for us.
As for me, I had a great bird watching session. I know there will be more to come.
What will I see next?