Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Home, New Birds

One of my new favorite walks in town.

I was so disappointed when I woke up to rain this morning. I had planned on going on a walk in a lovely preserve area on the east side of town. But by the time I had showered and eaten breakfast, the rain stopped and it looked safe to venture forth.

The walking trail is at the top of a rise that overlooks the town and you can see the whole valley stretched out to the farthest mountains. On a clear day, you can see all of the mountain ranges that ring the valley but today I could only see the ones closest to the northeast. Still, a lovely view.

The walking trail is in a natural area that has been carefully preserved. In summer, there's a great diversity of prairie wildflowers in bloom. Now in fall the aster family puts on a show, including this blazing star.

Dotted blazing star - Liatris punctata

I was disappointed that there weren't more birds in evidence on my walk, just the usual robins and ubiquitous magpies. As I was descending back down to the parking lot at the end of my walk, I saw some little birds hopping around in a shrubby area. I pished a bit, and one bird popped up in a clearing. I'd never seen one like him before but my brain was recalling an image from the field guide. I flipped it open and Bingo - a lifer!

My lifer green-tailed towhee. He was a bit of a stretch for my little point and shoot camera.


Sherrie Y said...

Hooray for green-tailed towhees! We had some come through here yesterday, too. It's nice to have you back in the blogosphere!

Gabrielle said...

Hi Sherrie,

Thanks, it's nice to be back!

I'm hoping to see my next green-tailed towhee a little closer so I can observe it better. Apparently we're now in sage thrasher territory too, so I'm excited to spot my first one of those.

Have you recovered from your Birds in Art weekend yet?

Ken Januski said...

That is just the most beautiful view in your photo. I meant to comment on the magpie drawings but just couldn't resist commenting on this post instead.

I guess I must just miss mountains.

And now for the magpies. They look great. Keep it up. I've never seen one except at the Philadelphia Zoo this summer. I'm cannot remember what type it was or if it was even a real magpie. But it sure had that extraordinary tail!

Gabrielle said...

Hi Ken,

I chuckled at your comment. There will be many more mountain photos to come, I'm sure!