Tag Archives: second-growth

Birding a powercut

I parked the car and stepped out to the hiss and singing of the high-tension wires overhead in the powercut. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise. Until I moved north, I had never considered birding a powercut. Heck, I don’t think I even knew there were birds near the wires. It is a little scary. But the birding is glorious. Many birds like the second growth of the large swath kept cleared by the power company.

Ignore the raised hair on your arms. Pay no attention to the wires. Stop. Listen. There. Do you hear it? The chickbur of a scarlet tanager. C’mon, let’s go. On the way up the hill there was the sweetness of yellow warblers, the bee buzz of the blue-winged warblers and the throaty monotony of the yellow-billed cuckoo. The chestnut-sided warblers all around were so pleased to meetcha.  My head swiveled searching the cacophony of sound for movement. I saw indigo bunting, chestnut-sided warblers, prairie warblers, and the increasingly rare golden-winged warbler. Many of these birds are a crap-shoot to find during migration but are a sure thing in a powercut. Wait. There is a flash of scarlet dashing from one side of the cut to the other. Ahhhhh.

Go down a back road road, to a dirt road to another dirt road, somewhere you will find a powercut. My favorite powercut is off Paradise Road but the one on Van Orden is also good.

Some of the best birding is in unlikely places.


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