May 06, 2006

It's a jungle out there

95 Swainson's thrush
96 Baltimore oriole
97 ovenbird
98 yellow-billed cuckoo

MAY 6, GRINDSTONE PARK, mostly sunny, 60—I spent a three-martini-long lunchtime at my favorite bend on Hinkson Creek, mostly looking high up in trees. That stretch of Hinkson has riffles, sand and gravel bars, willow thickets, a small bluff, and dense woods of sycamore, elm, hackberry, buckeye, and flowering black locust on both sides. Highlights were a Baltimore oriole pair—Audubon's print does not do justice to their orangeness. I saw my first LBY wood thrush, having heard one a few days ago. As I exited the woods, an 18-inch-long black rat snake coiled and recoiled in front of me.

We've reached the season when it's hard to see birds among all the greenery. I've got a few warbler-song problems at the moment, and real martinis could make an appearance in future posts if I can't solve them.


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