I stamped my waterlogged sneakers on the frosty grass. It was another 30-degree morning on Beech Road. I had rifled around in the car and found a fleece vest that I had neglected to put away. I put it on under my coat and over my blouse and sweater. I was cold and whiney. One of my fellow birders had an extra pair of gloves that she loaned me. I am sure she saved me from frostbite. (All right, probably not, but it was cold out.)
As we waited for more birders to arrive I watched the Rough-winged and Tree Swallows. They were out in full force, skimming the water and having mock battles with one another. Tree Swallows never cease to amaze me; their clean white undersides and those iridescent backs are too stunning. There was also a noticeable influx of Rough-winged Swallow over the last week. (One of the cool things about doing a once-a-week bird walk in the same place is being able to watch the migration as it happens.)
An Eastern Kingbird sat at the tippy-top of a tree. It watched us watch him. It kept looking up as if wondering what was so exciting up above him.
After snapping a few shots (see yesterday’s post) of the Kingbird, I started to scan across the water on the opposite bank. Years ago, an old timey birder in Nova Scotia told me to scan the hills and look for a golf ball among the dark evergreens. That would be a Bald Eagle, he said. I still follow his advice. As I scanned the opposite bank, there was a white blob (not really a golf ball) in a tree. It was definitely a white-headed raptor. And lo and behold, it was a well-on-the-way to being an adult Bald Eagle. (golf ball trick still works, sort of) It is always a thrill to see an eagle.
Other birds of note, a few Blue Gray Gnatcatchers, quite a lot of RC Kinglets, over 20 DC Cormorants, and the usual forest birds. Don’t you want to join us next week?