Thursday, May 03, 2012

Along a Spring Path

I live near several areas that are preserves or trusts held in a natural state for perpetuity.  Some of these are preserved by the state or county and include small amenities such as children's playgrounds, picnic tables and restrooms and there can be a small fee to enter them.  Others are owned by private environmental groups and exist primarily due to volunteers keeping paths open and swamp trails covered with small boardwalks and donations from the public (sometimes matched by environmental groups) paying property taxes and signage.  There is no entry fee for these private lands because they have no money to staff collection of entry fees.  Both of these types of areas are precious jewels as far as I am concerned.


A few days ago I walked along a trail in a land trust called the Southern Trial.  Come walk with me, as it was lovely!  Weather was in the high sixties and sun was shining.  Wildflowers were blooming (another post on those.)


I saw some new birds:  A grosbeak, a scarlet tanager, and a hairy woodpecker.  We are getting very good at listening for birdsongs and identifying songs since our class.  Spring is the absolutely best time of year to find birds in the high canopy of the forest.  You need binoculars and good ears.  You cannot see birds with the binoculars until you see some shadow of movement using your eyes and know where to train the binoculars.  Birds are now very active and now singing for territory and mating.  They will have either moved north or become more subdued when summer reaches my area, and therefore, much harder to spot.

Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Scarlet Tanager
Hairy Woodpecker

I also saw a familiar character from the American Children's TV show...Arthur


You don't recognize him...let him put on his glasses...



13 comments:

Celia said...

You have great places to hike and walk. You've inspired me to take the grandgirls out with the binoculars again.

Brian Miller said...

haha you totally found arthur...that is awesome...my littlest loved him for the longest time...the colors on those birds is just amazing...i def love preserves as well...i wish we had more and that a few were not giving in to our gross expansion as well...oy...

Red said...

That was a good walk. You saw some very interesting birds and to discover Arthur is a bonus. Good eye for finding Arthur.

Judy (kenju) said...

I love walking in the woods; too bad I don't do it much.

Dave said...

Nice bird pictures Tabor. You are lucky to have reserves protected. I hope people respect them - Dave

Dave King said...

What a fabulous area to have on your doorstep. I think I have missed out - doubly, in knowing Arthur! Super post.

Granny Annie said...

For some reason I am not blessed with as observant an eye as you. My spouse definitely has the ability to see everything in his surroundings and I miss it all. I am so inspired by your delightful sightings!

Linda said...

Arthur is such an interesting character, it is difficult for me to think of his head as full of wasps...Yikes! But the nest sure does look like him. =D
The first rose grosbeak I ever saw was unconscious on the school sidewalk. The principal and I rescued that little bird and then he flew away. Grosbeaks are so pretty.
You have a beautiful location, Tabor. Thank you for sharing it. =D

Tabor said...

Not a wasps nest but a gall of some kind.

Pauline said...

Such a beautiful woods! Loved the Arthur spotting. I've never seen a scarlet tanager but the Baltimore orioles have returned to our area and their orange is almost as vivid as that red!

We have some nature preserves here as well. I co-lead a hike/write group in one of them and the other used to be a farm on my old home street where we boarded our cow in exchange for helping with the chores. When I wander there now I can hardly see the place as it is for the memories it evokes.

Robert Sobczak said...

Hilarious. Great photos as usual. I really need to refine my birding skills.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Love this post. What wonderful images. I have these 3 birds but cannot get the great shots you gt.
Or rather once in a while.
Do not have Arthus. I will look and maybe I do :) I am now watching for poison ivy :(

Uttara said...

Scarlet is so pretty!