Whee! It’s been ages! I’ve not had a chance to do much birding this summer! I’ve been working full time, running the summer camp, researching and contacting ph.d. programs, and getting a second job. I’ll be adjuncting at Essex County College this fall. So all of that leaves me little time for birding, and less time for blogging about birding. As a co-worker pointed out, “It’s funny: the more work at a nature center I do, the less birding I’m able to do.”
So this morning we decided to remedy this. Three of us from work met up at the Tenafly Nature Center at 7am to do some pre-work birding. (Because trying to bird with a trail of children behind you just doesn’t work.) Two of us are experienced birders and the woman who joined us is growing an appreciation for it.
She was running late and I had to split out earlier, so it worked out well. It’s hard to be the beginning birder with two more experienced birders as you are forever missing sights. So when I ducked out the balance became better and she could pepper him with questions about the sightings. Three is an awkward number, even if it is company.
We had mostly common sightings. We found a roost of Mourning Doves: 30 in a dead tree hanging out with one fledgling American Robin. We had a good viewing of a red-eyed vireo. More than a silhouette through trees. How awesome is that?
Heard the electronic melody of the Wood Thrush to the drumming of the Pileated. That was pretty neat. In fact, we did well on woodpeckers: Pileated, Downy, and Northern Flickers. I had two on my way back to the center that I believe were juveniles.
But best of all was presumably the six Green Herons hanging out at the pond. Clearly the young have fledged and they all hang out in the spadderdock now.
Children in the forest aren’t all bad. It’s how they develop an appreciate for nature, and activities like hiking and birding which hopefully will remain with them for their whole lives. On this particular afternoon, we had the kids bring their lunches into the forest to eat in the shelter’s they’ve spent the week building and the four of us running the camp had a lovely picnic on a real blanket while the children played like children should.