Monday, October 01, 2007

Birding 50! Part 1

Art asked me a while back if I'd like a big party for my 50th birthday and after thinking decided against it. What I really wanted was a weekend of birding and dinner out. Well, what a weekend I got! My birthday was Friday but we also had a wedding to attend Friday evening so Art, God bless him, took the day off work and told me he'd be my driver and birding partner! The weather was Minnesota fall perfection. Blue skies, golden sun and cool breezes. I can't adequately describe the smell of the air. Maybe everyone in blogland has autumn air that smells as good- but I doubt it. After the kids left for school I grabbed my camera and two pairs of binoculars and we took off. Our first stop was a little park near home that I'd always wanted to check out. Do you ever wonder where all of the robins go after their babies fledge? Well on Friday most of them were in the ball fields at this park. Not much else to see so we headed off for some corn fields where in previous years I'd seen thousands of geese resting. I was hoping to spot a Cackling Goose among the Canada Geese. Only one of the fields was cut so there were fewer geese than I expected, and no Cackling Goose. But I did spot another Canada/domestic hybrid! I don't believe I've ever notice one of these hybrids before and now twice in one week I've found one. We watched it for a bit and like the one last week, this one stayed right in the middle of a knot of geese, maybe making it harder to become prey. Our next stop was Eastman Nature Center. Near the entrance Art spotted six turkeys in a grassy area. Turkeys used to be common only in the southern part of the state but I've seen them further north over the last couple of years.
The park is full of soft maples, beautiful yellow in the fall.

I think ninjas were here!
Sugar maples turn orange and red.
I spent fifteen minutes trying to photograph this sparrow. I'm working very hard on my sparrow identification skills and have found that it's helpful for me to get a photograph to refer to when trying to make an id. Lincoln's Sparrow- I think.
Prickly beauty, a thistle.

I wonder if Julie Zickefoose knows what this fresh scat is? Art couldn't believe I got on my knees to get a picture of it!
Birding 50! --- Part 1 --- Then End
I heard my first "Oh, sweet Canada" this morning and sure enough there are scads of White-throated Sparrows scratching under my feeders right now. I do love sparrows!


mon@rch said...

that's my kind of birthday! btw; Sounds like a happy birthday is due! :)

Ruth said...

Happy Birthday! The other side of 50 has been good so far for me. Wishing you another 50 healthy birthdays!

NatureWoman said...

Happy 50th Birthday, Lynne! And many more! Looks like you had a great weekend! I used to be into birthday parties up to my last birthday, but now I think getting away is a great idea!

Deb said...

You're 50?!!! I would absolutely not have guessed. Happy birthday, and it's great you got to spend it the way you like!

Susan Gets Native said...

Happy birthday, Lynne!
You know, they say that 50 is the new 30.
We are all so weird. I was actually interested in the scat.

RuthieJ said...

Happy 50th Lynne! Spending the day birding would be my idea of a good celebration also.

BTW -- good story and photo of you over at the Birdchick Blog! Looks like you had a pretty interesting Saturday in Duluth.

Jayne said...

Sounds like you all had a wonderful day! That sounds exactly like how I'd like to spend a birthday.

Eries Argonaut said...

Happy Birthday! What a great way to spend the day. The area looks beautiful.

dguzman said...

Great way to birthday! That poo looks full of something which I can't identify. Oh Science Chimp?

I'm still watching for my first white-throated sparrow; I love them. And definitely it helps to get a photo!

Larry said...

Sounds like the kind of air I'd like to breathe.-The White-throated Sparrows touched down in Portland this weekend too.-

Glad you had a good birthday-I'm going to suggest that birding driver/partner
idea to my wife when it comes to my Birthday.

Mary C said...

A belated Happy Birthday, Lynne! Your weekend sounds like my kind of birthday celebration. My birthday is in early December, which probably wouldn't be considered a good time to bird. But living here in California can have its advantages, and birding is usually good all year long. I think I'll keep this idea in mind. I loved your fall foliage photo.

Cathy said...

I've not been visiting in a while and see that you've been enjoying nature's wonders even as the year winds down.

A belated "Happy Birthday", Lynne!

You and Deb are so lucky to share your love of birding. That boat ride is something you'll be talking about for a long time :0)