I consider myself a novice bird watcher, having long enjoyed watching birds in our yard and identifying them using a field guide. When I’m not able to identify a species on my own, I contact my brother, Jim and send him a photo text. Nine times out of ten, he knows what the mystery bird is immediately. I love watching the antics of our Hummingbirds, Robins, Towhees, Juncos, Bluejays, Finches, Chickadees, Woodpeckers, and others. On our property is an old snag that my husband would like to take down for aesthetic reasons, but I rally to keep it because of all the wonderful bird action happening in and around it.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a birding class through Cameron Park Community Service District. Our knowledgeable instructor was Joseph Munizich, who has been a bird watcher for 40 years. The instructor and all of us participating met and chatted about identifying birds through listening, watching, and observing flight and colors. Then, armed with our field guides and binoculars, we set out on our walk around the lake, noticing all of the Mallards, American Coots, Drakes, Canadian Geese, and White Geese along the way. My ADD kicked in and an intricate spider web caught my eye on this bridge.And this nest in the tree. The instructor thought perhaps it was a Crow’s nest. I am the first to admit that my trusty iPhone 6 camera is not ideal for bird watching photos, but it’s all I had. It’s hard to tell that there is a snowy egret in the next photo. I wish the photo showed its small gold feet!This was a sweet bird condo we admired in a backyard along the way. Right about here, we identified a Killdeer, a Black Phoebe, Crows, California Towhees, Pie billed Grebe, and both Ladder back and Acorn Woodpeckers.
Shown here are two white swans. And not pictured, were a Brewer’s Blackbird, a Nuthatch, a Northern Flicker, Red shouldered Hawks, Red tailed Hawks, a Turkey Vulture, White crown Sparrows, and European Starlings all in this vicinity.It’s hard to see that on this floating log are two turtles sunning themselves!
More birds for our viewing pleasure included Western Bluebirds, Red winged Blackbirds, a Belted Kingfisher, Western Finch, Lesser Finch and both male and female Anna’s Hummingbirds. Now I can differentiate between the males and females on my feeders at home.
I greatly enjoyed this experience and can honestly share that I’ve caught the birding bug. Come say hello if you see me out with my binoculars along the local nature trails, parks and preserves!