Sunday, September 8, 2019

Walking With the Birds

Monthly Beginner Bird Walk 

Our local Audubon Society hosts a monthly walk at a local park to share their knowledge and love of our local birds. It's mainly for beginner birdwatcher but experienced birders join as well.

We met up at 10 a.m. at Fort Caroline National Memorial and joined 25 others on a walk around the fort loop. It's September but still hot as Hades and super humid here but we were a hardy group ready to conquer the Florida wilds on our bird quest.

We've walked that trail before and the 1 mile loop usually takes about 20 -25 minutes. Add a little more time if you want to check out the fort. Today however it took us almost 2 hours!

When you bird watch on a walk you walk 10 steps and stop and look up. Walk 10 steps, stop and look up. Very slow going. But it really makes you stop and take the time to look around and focus on not just the birds but the trees, plants, butterflies and spider webs.

This is my third time joining this walk and I've observed there seems to be two types of participants. Those who really want to learn about birds and expand on their hobby and those who just want the social experience.

The social seekers tend to bond quickly and move just as quickly keeping pace not with the birds but with their conversation. And that's not a bad thing. We all need social connections and a bird walk is a great place for just that.

The serious wanna be birders tend to gather around one of the two leaders trying to soak in their vast knowledge.

Did you know that you can identify a bird by the song he sings? Or that some birders can name a bird as it flies by in a blink of an eye just by the color or the stripe on it's wing? Or that you can find all kinds of little birds flitting among the Spanish moss because it's full of bugs that the birds feed on? How about the fact that some birds migrate and some live here year round? Is that little bird a Pine Warbler, a Magnolia Warbler or a Yellow Rump Warbler?


So much to learn and there's no better way to learn than by joining up with experienced birders. I'm sure there are some highly competitive birders but so far the ones I've met are just as excited when someone else spots a birds as if they spotted it themselves. I like that.

So today our walking was more like standing and shifting to the next spot but it was still a walk. I'm looking forward to a great season of bird watching and walking.

The Birds I Saw Today

(I've only listed the ones that I saw with my own two eyes)

3 Snowy Egrets 
1 Turkey Vulture (soaring overhead)
1 Red-Bellied Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpeckers (male and female)
1 Pileated Woodpecker
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
8 Tufted Titmouse
2 Carolina Wren
1 Brown Thrasher
1 Northern Cardinal 

Get outside and see what you can see!

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