Monday, August 30, 2010

Tough Morning

Photo of yellow warbler, by Dori, Wikimeida Commons
Yesterday I went birding at Lake Wichita Park and the spillway. Saw some decent birds overall, but am still paying for it.

My mother always said she should have called me Grace, since I am a complete klutz. I get focused on something and forget everything else. In this case I was looking at a bird (nothing very special--a great-tailed grackle flying overhead), forgot I was at the edge of the trail, stepped off and went down. Twisted my left ankle and sprained my left foot, knee, hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder and somehow my right shoulder as well. Hurt like a son of a gun. Lost my glasses (didn't realize they came off my head worrying about whether I did any serious damage to my body) and broke my camera (but that's why I buy inexpensive stuff--I do this on occasion.) Fortunately, no damage to my binoculars--that would have been a serious bummer.

Anyway, that cut short my birding trip as I couldn't use my left arm much at all and my right one hurt. Fortunately, one day later I am much improved, although I am not doing much that requires the use of my arms. Another couple of days and I should be 100% again, if I don't take another spill.

But back to the birds. At Lake Wichita Park I saw the following: scissor-tailed flycatcher, northern cardinal, blue jay, eastern phoebe, killdeer, chimney swift, mallard, American coot (this is early), yellow warbler, Mississippi kite, northern mockingbird, red-winged blackbird, American robin, great egret, barn swallow, mourning dove, white-winged dove.

I drove through Rosemont Cemetery on my way to the spillway, but nothing special--house finch, white-winged dove, scissor-tailed flycatcher and American robin.

At the spillway there were dozens of great-tailed grackle, looking rather ratty as they do at the end of the summer. In addition, there were house sparrows, Eurasian collared dove, killdeer, house finch, great egret, rock pigeon, red-tailed hawk, barn swallow, snowy egret, great blue heron and semipalmated sandpiper. The sandpipers always give me fits, but fortunately for me in this case, they were easy to see, a few flew and they were calling, making it easier to be certain of my ID. Thank goodness for Birds of North America (BNA) online--I could listen to recordings of the calls and compare to rule out the western sandpiper and positively ID the semipalmated.

A subscription to BNA isn't too expensive and if you are a member of the Texas Ornithological Society, you get a discount, making it an even better deal.

Good birding!


Traveler Literary Gnome said...

Oh, I could insist you have more care, but I fall all the time while I'm looking through my binoculars. Why do the grackles looks so ratty at the end of summer? I was concerned, but if it's a natural thing, I won't worry about it.

Penny Miller said...

It's natural for the grackles to look ratty at this time of year. They've worked hard raising their young and are going through a molt. In a few weeks they will have a glossy new coat of feathers and be back to their handsome selves.